“Now is the time for Marsh to step down from the disastrous Eacop project”


IA few days ago, Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate, Helena Gualinga and Luisa Neubauer, leading figures of the climate movement, took part in the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos to ask for the stop of new gas projects , oil and coal, including the highly controversial East African Crude Oil Pipeline (Eacop) developed by TotalEnergies.

These personalities recalled that there can be no cooperation with the fossil industry since it has undermined any significant climate action for more than fifty years. The WEF says it recognizes the urgent need to move away from a global economy based on fossil fuels. But, once again, the debate on the climate, as during the COP, is hijacked by the fossil companies present: TotalEnergies, Engie, BP, Shell, Chevron and Saudi Aramco. In this context, little can change.

Faced with such a blockage, other sectors of the economy have a decisive role to play. This is the case with insurance. Expert in risk management, the insurer is one of the financial cogs that has the ability to stop the expansion of fossil fuels, and to facilitate the acceleration of the energy transition while protecting communities and ensuring avoid devastating risks.

The central role of insurers in projects

Without insurance and reinsurance, most new fossil fuel projects cannot proceed and existing projects must be shut down. For several years, the campaign Insure Our Future led by several international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social movements has gained in influence. The main European insurance and reinsurance companies have thus started to reduce their activities related to oil, gas and coal.

In 2022, 13 firms have restricted their involvement in the oil and gas sector, and 41 have adopted substantial restrictions on coal ; they made these projects uninsurable, except those carried out in China. Although these results remain imperfect, they contrast with the prevailing immobility and constitute a powerful lever for action.

Also read the column: Article reserved for our subscribers “No to the giant TotalEnergies pipeline in East Africa! »

On January 16, in The worldFabrice Domange, president of Marsh France, a branch of the largest insurance broker, gave his opinion in a forum, “ Leverage the interconnectedness of crises to maximize the impact of collective solutions on the interconnectedness of crises and the importance of concerted action to tackle inequality and the climate crisis. Marsh precisely connects developers and insurers, and insurance brokers play a critical—although often overlooked—role in bringing energy projects to fruition.

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