The Axa group announced, Thursday, May 25, to leave the global alliance of insurers for the zero carbon objective, the Net Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), which coordinates the policies put in place by its members to fight against global warming, after several other departures, including that of the reinsurer SCOR earlier in the day and the insurer Allianz.
Axa, the leading French insurer, founding member of the alliance, “will continue its individual journey in terms of sustainable development, as an insurer, investor and responsible company”says a press release.
Allianz also announced his departure. “We informed [l’alliance] of our withdrawal”, explained the Munich group in a press release, adding that its own climate objectives « rest[ai]ent unchanged ».
Founding member of the NZIA in July 2021, placed under the aegis of the United Nations Organization, SCOR is the first French to slam the door of the alliance and the second in a few days after Swiss Re. Three other major European groups had preceded them in recent months by announcing their departure: Munich Re, Hannover Re and the insurer Zurich.
In the wake of these new defections, the French Matmut also announced his departure.
Neither Axa, nor Allianz, nor SCOR detailed the reasons for these departures but, at the end of March, Munich Re had mentioned the risks of impeding free competition inherent in this type of alliance. “Every company is free to join or withdraw from the NZIA at any time and for any reason”could we read Wednesday in a press release from the NZIA recording the departure of some of its members, “especially those with significant business and exposure to the United States”.
A week ago, twenty Republican state prosecutors in the United States sent a letter of criticism to the alliance. For the largest members, present in the United States, remaining in the alliance therefore involves a legal risk, with years of procedures.
“As the Net Zero Insurance Alliance disintegrates before our eyes, we must ask ourselves why these large companies, with their hordes of lawyers, did not see antitrust issues as a major obstacle when they founded the alliance. »reacted Patrick McCully, energy transition analyst for the NGO Reclaim Finance. “True climate leaders must fight climate denial, not give in to it. What is crucial today is that insurers do not go back on their climate commitments”he added.
With around thirty members until recently, the NZIA was founded by Axa, Allianz, Aviva, Generali, SCOR, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance Group. Its members, including the French Matmut and Crédit Agricole Assurances, have agreed to set criteria for the acceptability of the most emitting industries in their customer portfolios in line with the objective of carbon neutrality by 2050.
However, the resigning members of the alliance insisted on the continuity of their commitments in favor of the climate.
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