Climate demonstration targets Lloyd’s as IPCC report looms

There were further demonstrations outside the Lloyd’s building as mothers across the UK staged a concert today in a Mother’s Day plea to the company to stop insuring new fossil fuel projects in the North Sea and beyond.

The event, organised by climate-parent group, Mothers Rise Up, featured a ‘Mother Earth’ soul diva, singing about her plight and the need for R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

The creative action included reworked Motown songs – such as Respect, Heatwave and Stop in the Name of Love.

Maya Mailer from Mothers Rise Up said: “The insurance industry recognises the risks . Yet even as it increases premiums to cover the cost of climate disasters – insurers like Lloyd’s continue to fuel the crisis, despite claiming to take the climate crisis seriously. Lloyd’s needs to change its tune and announce an end to insurance for all new fossil fuels.”

She added:  “Lloyd’s is rapidly becoming an insurer of last resort. It needs to introduce market wide policies to exclude all coal, tar sands and Arctic energy, and new oil and gas. This is the minimum needed to protect our planet and keep all our kids safe.”

Alongside the concert, Coal Action Network’s supporters sent millions of messages to Lloyd’s staff encouraging them to drop new fossil fuel projects, after sending over 4 million messages to insurers last month demanding they rule out EACOP.

Mailer added:  “Pressure is mounting on Lloyd’s with the IPCC 6th Assessment Synthesis report due to be published on Monday 20 March. The report is expected to underline that current policies miss the ‘window to secure a liveable future’ and urgent, transformative change is needed.”

Speaking outside the building the group said: “Lloyd’s of London insures up to 40% of the global energy market, including oil and gas exploration in the North Sea. Mothers Rise Up has seen an insurance certificate that reveals Lloyd’s is insuring a major Norwegian company that is exploring for oil and gas right now in the UK and Norwegian continental shelves. Lloyd’s has also refused to rule out insuring the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), which will emit 34 million tonnes of carbon per year, and devastate communities and nature in Tanzania and Uganda.

“The International Energy Agency has warned that there can be no new fossil fuel infrastructure, if we are to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5C. However Lloyd’s isn’t orienting its market in this direction. Its ESG policy does not require its members to end support for new fossil fuels – it only recommends they do so and doesn’t ask them to publish details of how they apply the recommendations.”

Becky Ward from Mothers Rise Up added:  “Our protest outside Lloyd’s today is upbeat and fun, but it has a serious message: stop insuring new fossil fuels. One billion children – nearly half the world’s children – are already at ‘extremely high risk’ of being impacted by the climate crisis – losing their homes, their family, their education, and their hopes for the future. Insurance is meant to offer protection, but by underwriting dangerous fossil fuel projects, Lloyd’s is putting our children’s future at risk.”

To date  the group said 22 re/insurance companies have ruled out insuring the East African Crude Oil pipeline as a  result of public pressure. 15 Lloyd’s syndicates have publicly refused to insure the controversial pipeline, but others such as Talbot, Cincinnati, Brit, Chaucer, Tokio Marine Kiln, Hiscox and Liberty have yet to follow suit.

“Most other insurers and reinsurers – such as Munich Re, Hannover Re and Swiss Re – are introducing coal, oil and gas exclusion policies, but Lloyd’s lags behind its European counterparts,” Mailer concluded.