In Grinch-Themed Protest, Activists Stage a Coal Delivery Targeting Major Supplier of Insurance for Coal, Oil, and Gas Companies
NEW YORK – Activists today delivered more than 27,000 petition signatures asking American International Group (AIG)’s CEO Peter Zaffino to make major changes in how the company approaches climate change. The petition delivery was part of an action where protesters dumped coal outside of AIG’s headquarters, and an activist dressed as Cindy Lou Who asks CEO Peter Zaffino to end fossil fuel insurance.
“As one of the world’s largest underwriters of coal, oil, and gas projects, AIG is fueling the climate crisis,” said Hannah Saggau, insurance campaigner with Public Citizen. “The insurance giant needs to rapidly change course to help avert a planetary disaster. AIG must stop covering new fossil fuel projects immediately and get out of the business of accelerating climate change.”
While 35 global insurers have ended or limited their coal underwriting, AIG remains one of the last major insurers in the world that supports coal without restrictions. The petition, backed by Public Citizen, Stand.Earth, and Stop the Money Pipeline, calls on AIG to:
- stop insuring new and expanded coal, oil, and gas projects immediately;
- phase out insurance for all fossil fuel companies, starting with coal;
- divest completely from coal, oil, and gas companies; and
- respect human rights, including Indigenous people’s rights to free, prior, and informed consent.
Activists from Public Citizen, New York Communities for Change, Rise and Resist, and XRNYC, protested AIG’s role in fossil fuel development outside of the company’s headquarters, while a Grinch played AIG’s CEO Peter Zaffino and circled the headquarters on a platform stacked with coal.
“New York Communities for Change, NYCC, is in solidarity with the over 27,000 people that signed a petition to AIG, demanding the insurance giant drop insurance for coal and other fossil fuels,” says José González, Researcher with NYCC. “We will hold AIG responsible if it does not stop insuring and investing in fossil fuel projects.”
“People have died in NYC due to rising sea levels and stronger storms. AIG is enabling such existential threats by insuring fossil fuel projects,” says Cherie Acierno, Rise and Resist. “If fossil fuel infrastructure doesn’t get insured, it can’t get built. AIG must stop insuring climate chaos and start insuring our future.”