Slow climate response could “damage” Lloyd’s brand, says Chairman

Lloyd’s of London Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown says the marketplace’s brand could be “damaged” by re/insurers that have proved slow to withdraw their backing for carbon-intensive activities.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Carnegie-Brown warned that climate laggards could “let down” efforts at Lloyd’s, which has already come under fire from climate activists for its continued support of the coal sector.

“To some extent, there is a risk that we get let down by the last person who is continuing to do things that the rest of the market has given up doing, because [it] will still get labelled as ‘Lloyd’s is still underwriting things that people don’t think are acceptable’,” the Lloyd’s Chairman told the FT.

“If the Lloyd’s brand is getting damaged by minority participants in the marketplace, then we have to pay attention to it,” he added.

Lloyd’s announced last year that it would require its insurers to phase out the underwriting of thermal coal mines and related power plants by 2022, in addition to oil sands and new Arctic energy exploration activities.

Existing insurance for these industries will be phased out by 2030, although this deadline could be moved forward, depending on the rate of progress, Carnegie-Brown said.

“Do I think we might revisit 2030? Absolutely I do, particularly if there’s better data to support a more rapid direction of travel,” he remarked.

Last month, Lloyd’s also unveiled a new climate action roadmap as the entity looks to work with critical industries to help accelerate the pace of change as the need for net zero carbon intensifies.

The roadmap includes numerous practical steps that the marketplace says will “help accelerate the transition of multiple industries to net zero carbon.”

These include the establishment of new risk transfer products to provide valuable support for green innovation and renewable energy investment and expansion, as well as public-private disaster resilience, response and recovery framework.

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