350.org is declaring a win after Apollo, an insurance provider that belongs to Lloyd’s of London, declared it will not renew the coverage it currently provides for the controversial and climate-busting Adani Carmichael coal mine in Australia.
“We participate in one construction liability policy in respect of Adani Carmichael,” but “this particular policy terminates in September 2021 after which we will no longer provide any insurance cover for this project,” Apollo Syndicate Management Chair Julian Cusack said in a memo first reported by Reuters.
“We have recently declined to participate in an additional policy relating to the port and rail extension, and have agreed that we will not participate in any further insurance policies for risks associated with this project.”
350 says the decision coincided with an online rally that brought together 1,700 people from the Pacific Islands, Australia, and around the world, and followed a moment last Tuesday when volunteers delivered two giant protest post cards to Lloyd’s CEO John Neal. “We are pleased that another Lloyd’s of London insurer has dropped Adani’s dangerous coal project, and we demand that Lloyd’s of London acts immediately to protect the Pacific by ruling out insurance for Adani’s coal project,” said Inangaro Vakaafi, a member of the Pacific Climate Warriors Polynesian Council of Elders.
“Mining and burning coal from Adani’s coal mine wrecks our chances to protect our Pacific homelands from climate change impacts, especially rising sea levels and storms which threaten us more and more every year,” she added. “As Pacific people, we will continue to fight for our homes, our ways of life, and our communities.”
Adani “has begun construction at Carmichael, which will start by producing 10 million tonnes of coal per year together with an associated rail project, and expects first production in 2021,” Reuters writes. But “Carmichael has provoked controversy in Australia because it would open up a new thermal coal basin at a time of growing concerns over global warming, in a region that is in need of jobs.”
The Carmichael mine is in the North Galilee Basin of Queensland, where recent analysis found that a 15-year transition off fossil fuels would deliver all the state’s energy from renewable sources and create 10,000 jobs. “What we see here is that maybe Queenslanders have not been told that they have plenty of potential to generate enough electricity for what they can consume, and then more,” renewable energy analyst Tristan Edis said earlier this month. “We really have to start planning out the infrastructure that can support it.”
While Lloyd’s does not have a single, consistent coal policy for its more than 90 syndicate members, “it is encouraging to see that 27 major insurers, including those which have previously underwritten this disastrous project—like Apollo—are now refusing insurance to Adani,” said Market Forces campaigner Pablo Brait. “The project will help open up a massive new thermal coal basin in the midst of a climate crisis,” so “any insurer that provides coverage for Adani’s coal operations in Australia is seriously risking its reputation.”
But the campaign isn’t over just yet. “Lloyd’s has confirmed that some of its members started insuring Adani’s coal mine in 2019 but refuses to name the members involved,” 350 says. “Lloyd’s also so far refuses to put in place a market-wide policy excluding all of its members from insuring new coal mines, despite the climate science and the fact that most other leading insurers have such a policy in place.”