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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Coal losing favour with insurers

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Open cut coal mine. Photo RenewEconomy

As bushfires burn across the country, Australian coal companies are being excluded from cover by Dutch insurance company Aegon.

‘Aegon has added Adani and eight other Australian coal companies to its exclusion list as it continues to divest from the dirty power industry,’ Greenpeace revealed in a press release.

‘AGL Energy, Origin Energy, New Hope Corp, and Whitehaven have been added to the list of 104 coal companies being phased out by Aegon, one of Europe’s largest financial institutions.’

Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter said the announcement was further proof that coal, as global warming’s primary fuel source, was a bad investment.

‘Burning coal is the number one contributor to climate change. It’s a dirty source of power and a bad investment, with diminishing returns. This is another nail in the coffin of the dirty coal industry and a step that should be followed by many more insurance and investment firms,’ he said.

The insurance bill for Australia’s bushfire crisis already nearing $1 billion and we are nowhere near finished counting the cost, Mr Ritter said. 

Millions of Australians have now been exposed to damage from climate disasters. Lives have been lost, vast swathes of property destroyed and whole cities exposed to ultra-hazardous smoke clouds for protracted periods of time.’

Energy companies with more than 10 gigawatt of coal-fired capacity and coal expansion plans are being phased out by Aegon. Their policy also excludes any company that earns more than 30 percent of its income from coal mining. This percentage will be gradually reduced to 10 per cent in 2027, and to below 5 per cent in 2029. 

‘Insurers know better than anyone that climate-induced extreme weather events are becoming increasingly common, and the costs are growing,’ Mr Ritter said. 

‘The smart money is on getting out of coal and burning fossil fuels. These are the main causes of climate change, and that’s why Aegon is making a wise move by limiting investments in this dirty power source.’

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  1. The corrupt and selfserving Australian government has made gullible people believe that if there’s no fossil fuel industry, everybody will lose their jobs and there will be an economic downturn. What they don’t tell people is that there will be many more jobs available in the renewable energy industry. Without the serious health hazards of coalmining.
    How can a whole government be en bloc so incredibly stupid and greedy and indifferent to the country and the people for whom they are responsible. Selling our precious water to China in a time of severe drought. Selling off our fertile land to a foreign criminal for yet another disaster of a coalmine, in the process trampling over indigenous landrights and destroying our national treasure, the Great Barrier reef. Denying climate change while the reality stares them in the face. Ridicule Pacific Island nations and their rulers when they expressed their concerns about rising ocean levels. Our ecology is probably damaged for ever, a billion of our precious wildlife died an agonising death, firefighters and civilians died, thousands of people who lost their homes, displaced, crops and orchards destroyed,
    People traumatised. And this government beats its collective chest on how wonderful their management is. Our government has become the laughing stock and the subject of severe criticism of the whole international community. It is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. My beautiful Australia doesn’t deserve this.

  2. Got to get off the grid or become a quiet Australian regards coal..Fracking however is another animal that needs to be put down before we are all poisoned ..probably can phase out coal intelligently..Fracking must be the most stupid idea on the planet.


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