The policy comes just ahead of the fifth edition of Climate Finance Day (1) in Paris, and will exclude approximately 400 companies with coal plant and mine expansion plans. It also includes a refusal to renew contracts for clients that are highly exposed to coal (2).
“AXA has set a new global benchmark for best practice with this coal phase-out policy. Zero tolerance for coal expansion is the only responsible action in a carbon-constrained world, and dumping coal companies like RWE, Adani, and KEPCO is essential for financial institutions that do not want to be complicit in the damage these companies cause to the climate and human health. Financial institutions with weaker coal policies, like BNP Paribas and Talanx, now risk looking flat-footed,” said Lucie Pinson, adviser for Friends of the Earth France’s finance campaign.
“Banks, investors, and insurers are now under great pressure to up their game on climate with new coal policy announcements. The only defensible position is one like AXA’s: a strong 2030 phase-out commitment for EU and OECD countries, coupled with detailed near-term plans on delivering it. This is the minimum standard for any financial institution committed to the Paris climate agreement’s 1.5 degree warming limit,” said Kaarina Kolle, finance and utility coordinator at Europe Beyond Coal.
“AXA is leading the way by driving its coal portfolio down to zero by 2030. German insurers’ commitments to stop backing coal by 2038 or 2040 are not good enough. The EU and OECD coal plants, coal mines and companies they insure and invest in are duty-bound to shut down by 2030 at the absolute latest. They are running huge, reckless risks if they fail to do so,” said Regine Richter, energy campaigner at Urgewald.
1. Friday 29 November 2019. More details on www.climatefinanceday.com
2. Only coverage dedicated to renewable energy projects will be allowed beyond 2021 for companies that derive more than 30 percent of their revenue / electricity production from coal or that produce more than 20 million tonnes of coal per year. This includes BHP Billiton, RWE, Sasol, Anglo American.