On August 6, the president of Munich Re made a groundbreaking declaration regarding plans related to a significant reduction of the company's involvement in the reassurance of coal projects, the organizations associated in the Unfriend Coal coalition had called for. Although this decision was a surprise for many, it fully reflects the trend observed among leading insurance companies. In May this year Allianz also decided to withdraw from the coal sector, which significantly contributes to increasing global greenhouse gas emissions and, consequently, to catastrophic climate change. The same has happened in recent months, among others, concerning Swiss Re, AXA and SCOR.
The exit of the next insurance giant from the coal sector means that the insurance and reinsurance of coal mines and power plants would become more costly. Probably it will not change the fate of already existing objects, but it can put to an end the development of megalomaniac and unjustified coal projects like the Ostrołęka C power plant or the Złoczew open-pit mine of lignite - comments Jan Chudzyński from the Foundation "Development YES – Open-Pit Mines NO".
Munich Re, the world's second-largest reinsurer, announced not only the resignation from insuring new coal mines but withdrawal of shares of companies with over 30% of revenues related to coal from his portfolio as well. The declaration of the company directly translates into the reinsurance of the Polish coal sector. Polish Ergo Hestia is Munich Re subsidiary. It is worth mentioning that this company has insured a significant part of the Polish energy sector among others coal-fired power plants in Kozienice and Opole.
Munich Re is also the reinsurer of the Polish largest insuring company PZU. PZU is the main coal insurer, through TUW PZUW and PZU S.A. It secures the mines responsible for about 80% of coal production in Poland and coal-fired power plants generating nearly 30% of the capacity installed in the national power system. PZU S.A. insures the construction of new units at Elektrownia Opole (PGE), and earlier at Elektrownia Kozienice (Enea). Last year TUW PZUW signed a letter of intent regarding the insurance of the controversial Ostrołęka C construction planned by Energa and Enea. The PZU’s investments groups allocated almost PLN 3 billion in shares and bonds of coal companies that are in the portfolio of TFI PZU, PTE PZU belonging also to the group of companies Pekao TFI and Pekao OFE.
The Munich Re declaration confirms the global trend of moving away from unethical projects based on burning of fossil fuels, which are largely responsible for global warming and its catastrophic consequences. We hope that it will prompt PZU to reconsider whether it is worth engaging in the Ostrołęka C project - permanently unviable, socially harmful and, above all, completely contrary to the climate protection that determines our common future - summarizes Diana Maciąga from Workshop for all Beings.