Insurers urge governments to drop fossil fuels

Insurers urge governments to drop fossil fuels

Global insurers worth more than $1.2 trillion (£900bn) are urging governments to commit to phasing out oil, coal and gas subsidies by 2020.

Aviva, Aegon NV and MS Amlin, along with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and Open Energi, have signed a statement to warn governments not to continue to fund the production of fossil fuels.

Research by the Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International found G20 governments spend $444 billion (£334.52bn) each year on supporting the production of these fuels despite pledging to phase out subsidies and prevent climate change every year since 2009.

They are now being called upon to set a definite timeline.

Mark Wilson, CEO of Aviva, said: “Making a profit is essential in business but we will only be in business in the future if we act sustainably and create wider long term social value. That’s just good business. Not acting sustainably is very bad business indeed.

“Climate change in particular represents the mother of all risks to business and to society as a whole and that risk is magnified by the way in which fossil fuel subsidies distort the energy market. These subsidies are simply unsustainable.”