AXA quadruples its green investments

Insurance giant AXA announced on Tuesday that it will quadruple its green invests to reach 12 billion euros by 2020. At the same time, it will divest an additional 3 billion euros from coal and oil sands producers.

“In 2015, AXA committed to reach 3 billion euros in green investments by 2020. Given that this target has already been reached, the Group has decided to quadruple its original target and reach 12 billion euros by 2020,” the French insurer said.

This new and far more ambitious target is twice as high as the recent recommendation from the COP21 chief negotiator, Christiana Figueres. She had called on companies to invest 1 per cent of assets into green and clean technology by 2020.

At the same time that AXA is increasing its investments in environmentally friendly projects, it is also taking further steps to divest from carbon-intensive energy producers. The insurer decided two years ago to divest 500 million euros from the coal industry by targeting companies that derive over 50 per cent of their revenues from coal.

“Today, the Group decided to increase its divestment fivefold to reach 2.4 billion euros, by divesting from companies which derive more than 30 per cent of their revenues from coal, have a coal-based energy mix that exceeds 30 per cent, actively build new coal plants, or produce more than 20 million tonnes of coal per year.”

Axa will also divest over 700 million euros from oil sands producers and associated pipelines and will discontinue any further investments in those businesses.

Likewise, it will stop insuring any new coal construction projects, as well as insuring the main oil sands and the associated pipelines business, explaining that it would be “inconsistent to commercially support industries that the Group is divesting from”.

“Unsustainable business will become un-investable and uninsurable business,” said CEO Thomas Buberl.


Image credit: AXA Winterthur

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