Climate advocacy group calls out Canada’s property insurers for fossil fuel support

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Investors for Paris Compliance said in a report that the seven largest Canadian property and casualty insurance companies collectively invested about $19.5-billion in oil and gas assets last year

A shareholder advocacy group is calling out Canada’s property insurers for their support of the fossil fuel industry while also raising premiums because of climate-related disasters.

Premiums are rising as the frequency and severity of climate-related disasters like wildfires and major floods grow, though other factors like rising replacement costs are also driving up rates. P&C catastrophic losses averaged $2.3-billion a year between 2011 and 2020, up from $675-million a year in the previous decade, the report said.

“The claims made within the Investors for Paris Compliance report paint an inaccurate picture of the considerations related to climate change-related risk management.” But Intact still had about $1.5-billion in fossil fuel investments last year , Desjardins had almost $300-million and TD Bank Group had $15.5-billion.

It also noted that the figures in the report contrast TD’s whole bank operations to insurance companies with more narrow mandates, which affects the conclusions drawn., haven’t made net-zero commitments or exclusion policies, the report said. It said Fairfax also continues to be an insurer of last resort for coal operations in Asia. It underwrote an estimated $809-million in fossil fuels and had $1.5-billion in investments last year, the report said.

 

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