The bitter dispute between Lloyd’s and climate campaigners has continued as the market issued its second ESG report ahead of today’s AGM.
The report was produced to further clarify the steps that the market will take to deliver on its sustainability and corporate responsibility but has been branded a “disgrace” by Insure our Future.
The report contains an introduction from Lloyd’s CEO John Neal and the market’s Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown in which the market said it was determined to take a “leadership position” on climate transition.
The statement said the Lloyd’s was determined to play its part but it also wanted to be clear on what it could achieve.
“To make our purpose a reality, we have to be realistic about where we can deliver the most impact – and where we can’t,” it stated. “Lloyd’s global reach and central position in the insurance industry means we do have an influential voice – and that’s a privilege and a responsibility we don’t hold lightly. But we know we will be most effective when working from a pragmatic assessment of our ‘spheres of influence’, while partnering with others to expand our reach and impact.”
It added: “As we look to the rest of 2022 and beyond, we’re committed to driving and accelerating progress against our ESG goals.
“On climate, we’ll continue to take a leadership position in being the insurer of the transition, channelling the resolve that was evident at COP26 to make headway against the world’s objective of reaching net zero by 2050. We’ll do this through our oversight of the market, working with insurers on their net zero plans; our convening of the sector through the Sustainable Markets Initiative; and by driving down our own emissions as an organisation.
“In doing so, we’ll continue to provide transparent reporting against our goals and work with government, regulators, investors and customers to support an orderly, but urgent transition.”
The statement added: “That approach will be reflected across our culture plans, where we’ll continue to develop and expand our reporting on diversity and inclusion across the Lloyd’s market. We’ll also launch and embed our new culture strategy for the Lloyd’s Corporation, focusing on building an inclusive and high performing culture through our employee capabilities, wellbeing, values and engagement.”
Neal and Carnegie-Brown added that the market would “apply our refreshed governance structure to a range of challenges facing our market today – including the current conflict in Ukraine. We’re confident that event doesn’t pose a threat to our solvency or operation as a market – and we’ll continue to work with government, regulators and others to deliver an effective sanctions regime against Russia – but we know the impacts may be with us for a while.
“To that end, we’ll develop and publish new research in 2022 to help insurers and businesses understand and build resilience against the medium and long term impacts of the crisis: from energy security and market volatility to the cyber and political landscapes that emerge from the conflict.”
The statement concluded: “The next year therefore presents an opportunity, after the foundational progress of 2021, to expand and embed our efforts across our ESG objectives. We know we have a long way to go to deliver these goals – but our commitment to lead is unequivocal, and we believe the progress we’ve made in the last year signals our ability to continue delivering against our purpose in the years ahead.”
However the report has cut no ice with campaigners.
In a statement Insure our Future said: “Lloyd’s second ESG report says nothing about the outcomes of the most critical climate commitments it made in its first ESG report released at the end of 2020. Previously, Lloyd’s stated it was asking its managing agents to not provide any new cover for coal-fired plants, coal mines, oil sands and Arctic energy exploration from 1 January 2022. Yet, its current report fails to report on fulfilling this commitment and thereby fails to achieve the most basic standards of consistency and transparency.”
Lindsay Keenan, European coordinator, Insure Our Future added: “Lloyd’s of London has gone from a climate laggard to climate villain. Lloyd’s new ESG report is a disgrace, with no positive attributes in sight. It exemplifies many of the worst aspects of corporate greenwashing. Lloyd’s Council, led by its Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown, needs to stop its failed greenwash public relations strategy and start taking genuine climate action by ensuring Lloyd’s members stop insuring and investing in new fossil fuels and phase out existing investments and insurance in-line with climate science.”
The publication of the report came on the day that Carnegie-Brown met with representatives from Mothers Rise Up and Parents For Future UK.
While the campaigners said Carnegie-Brown acknowledged the severity of the climate crisis and that no one was moving as fast as the science says is needed, he stopped short of agreeing a more rapid phase down of support for fossil fuel projects.
Maya Mailer, mum and campaigner with Mothers Rise Up said: “Bruce Carnegie-Brown assured us that Lloyd’s are doing their best to phase out support for fossil fuel energy but their best is not good enough. My daughter is four today and has yet to start primary school. She will be 12 and beginning her secondary education before Lloyd’s stops insuring even the worst fossil fuel projects – coal, tar sands and Arctic energy. Lloyd’s can and must move quicker.”