Generali to divest €2 bn from coal

Italian insurance giant Generali announced that it will divest €2 billion from coal as part of its new climate change strategy. The company will also offer more products with environmental value.

The coal divestment movement has a prominent new supporter: Italian insurance firm Generali approved a new climate change strategy last month that is in line with the principles of the Global Compact and the Paris climate agreement.

While the strategy covers the company’s core activities of investments and underwriting, its most striking feature is its decision to divest €2 billion from coal-related companies. The only exception will be in countries where the production of electrical and heating energies are still dependent on coal, without any alternatives in the medium term. Generali estimates that these make up only 0.02% of its investments.

Generali also announced that it will increase investments in “green” sectors by €3.5 billion by 2020, mainly through green bonds and green infrastructures.

For underwriting, Generali commits to increasing growth in green insurance by offering more products with environmental value, such as sustainable mobility and energy efficiency, for the retail market and SMEs.

“Protecting the environment and adopting effective actions to tackle climate change are central issues for Assicurazioni Generali,” said CEO Philippe Donnet.

“With this action plan, which follows a series of initiatives undertaken in the last several years, the Company strengthens its leadership position as a responsible business, to contribute to a healthy, resilient, and sustainable society.”

Generali defines coal-related businesses as companies for which more than 30 per cent of revenues derive from coal or for which more than 30 per cent of energy produced derives from coal. It also includes mining companies that produce more than 20 million tonnes per year of coal, and companies actively involved in building new coal facilities or plants.

Image credit: Assicurazioni Generali

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