British Women’s Open sponsor American International Group (AIG) is a major insurer of oil and gas expansion projects that are worsening the climate crisis.
By Hannah Saggau
American International Group (AIG) is one of the world’s three largest providers of insurance coverage to the oil and gas sector. The company is also the headline sponsor of the AIG Women’s Open, a major British golf tournament. As part of its promotion of the event, AIG posts about its allyship—using the hashtag #AIGAllies and the tagline “AIG Your Ally from Now to Next.” However, AIG is a far greater ally to the oil and gas companies driving climate catastrophe than it is to everyday people who are impacted by this crisis.
Insurance may seem far removed from the causes of a warming planet—but it is actually a crucial backbone to the fossil fuel economy. Fossil fuel companies need insurance coverage to finance and build their massive oil and gas expansion projects. However, climate scientists and world leaders agree that we cannot invest in any new fossil fuel infrastructure if we are to avoid climate chaos. A growing number of major insurance companies are recognizing this scientific reality by restricting the coverage they will provide to new oil and gas projects.
Not AIG. Despite counting among just 10 companies that make up about 70% of oil and gas underwriting, AIG has not followed its global peers in restricting support for oil and gas. Instead, the insurer is enabling the industry’s reckless expansion: a recent report found that eight major oil and gas companies are involved in over 200 expansion projects slated through 2025, which would produce the climate pollution equivalent to 77 new coal power plants.
AIG provided insurance for controversial oil and gas projects around the world, including the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline in Canada and a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia. The existing Trans Mountain pipeline has a long track record of oil spills, and its massive expansion project has faced powerful Indigenous resistance for years. AIG adopted a policy restricting support for tar sands, along with coal and Arctic drilling, in March 2022. However, AIG has failed to end support for new conventional oil and gas projects and adopt policies to ensure that its clients respect Indigenous rights.
Claims of allyship and environmental commitments are mere greenwashing as long as AIG continues to support oil and gas expansion projects and lacks any human rights protections. A growing movement including Indigenous rights and environmental groups, U.S. lawmakers, and investors is demanding that AIG end its support for fossil fuel expansion. This pressure will only increase until the company steps up its climate commitments. AIG must end its allyship with oil and gas companies, and align with a livable climate instead.
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