Lloyd’s insures and enables the worst climate-destroying fossil fuel projects
Yesterday, on the eve of COP26 climate talks, Coal Action Network were joined by Youth Strikers from across the world and the Pacific Climate Warriors, to set up a climate justice memorial at Lloyd’s of London HQ (1 Lyme Street). The climate memorial was created to remember communities on the front lines of climate breakdown, who are being directly impacted by harmful projects and climate impacts.
Lloyd’s of London is an insurance market, composed of many underwriters and insurance companies. Lloyd’s is known for insuring projects that no one else will, which increasingly includes climate-destroying fossil fuel projects, making it a major global energy insurer.
Staff were asked to speak to senior management in Lloyd’s about ruling out insuring all fossil fuels, as well as, various fossil fuel projects including the Adani Coal mine, tar sands TransMountain pipeline, West Cumbria coal mine, and the Cambo oilfields. The group also called on Lloyd’s to rule out any possible involvement with the Silvertown Tunnel, and for Lloyd’s to pay compensation for climate impacts.
Elara from Coal Action Network said -
“Through the memorial brought to life the memories of every person harmed by the injustices of the climate crisis. We’ve laid wreaths naming climate wrecking projects we want Lloyd’s of London to rule out underwriting today, and help to prevent billions of lives being destroyed by climate impacts. Lloyd’s needs to stop ignoring the climate science and communities being affected by climate breakdown.”
Protesters were joined by 20 Friday for Future MAPA (Most Affected People and Areas) youth strikers from some communities most affected by climate change globally (including Bangladesh, Philippines, Argentina, Nigeria). Members of the Pacific Climate Warriors who have been calling on Lloyd’s to stop insuring the Adani Carmichael coal mine, brought flowers native to the Pacific Islands to add to the memorial. Representatives gave testimonies from their communities, which included those on the front lines of fossil fuel projects and climate impacts.
Joseph Sikulu from Pacific Climate Warriors said -
"Our communities grapple with climate impacts everyday. As sea levels rise we risk losing everything. The insurance industry should also understand the business risks of climate change. Climate fueled disasters like hurricanes and wildfires are costing the industry billions. It is in our shared interests to act by stopping the major driver of global warming: coal. Lloyd’s of London must show leadership now and act on the climate crisis by refusing insurance for climate wrecking coal projects like Adani’s Carmichael mine in Australia.”
Farzana Faruk Jhumu is a Youth Striker from Bangladesh in attendance at the Memorial in London:
“I am in the UK to ask the banks and companies to decolonise their business. UK companies like Lloyds of London are supporting fossil fuels and we want them to shift this to renewable energy. Lloyds of London needs to sort out their act. “
In 2020, Lloyd’s published an Environmental, Social and Governance Report. Campaigners said today that its commitments are not enough. Lloyd’s still allows members to acquire new business in these sectors, and is continuing to provide them cover until 2030. There is no mention of insurance and investment in coking coal, or other gas and oil projects, despite Lloyd’s being amongst the four largest insurers of fossil fuel projects. Further information on how Lloyd’s of London helps fuel the climate crisis can be found here.
Members of the public laid hundreds of flowers and messages to Lloyd’s of London from over 4,500 people across the world were hung outside the offices, as well as delivered to Lloyd’s Chairman, Bruce Carnegie Brown. These messages are also viewable online here.
Elara from Coal Action Network said -
“The climate crisis is harming the poorest and least responsible of us first and worst. The blame falls squarely at the feet of executives at corporations like Lloyd’s of London. Day after day they decide to profit from death and chaos, by underwriting projects that will lead to climate breakdown, while refusing to insure everyday people against the floods and wildfires they are helping to create.”
Patience Nabakalu, is a youth climate justice activist from Uganda, was in attendance at the Memorial because of having to live with climate breakdown:
“We live a life of floods every day, and I am traumatised by it. I couldn’t go to school because of flooding. I learned that this all happens because of climate change. I had no option but to wake up and act.”
Lindsay Keenan, European Co-ordinator for the global campaign network Insure our Future said -
“We tried for at least 6 months to engage Lloyds in negotiations about its climate policy. Lloyds approach to the climate and its ongoing insurance of the world’s worst fossil fuel projects is greenwash, delay, and business as usual. Frankly Lloyds is a disgrace and needs much more public and regulatory attention to make its senior managers start to take climate science and its responsibilities seriously.”
This action is the latest to target Lloyd’s of London, including Coal Action Network’s previous climate memorial earlier this month on the 8th October. Our action today forms part of a Defund Climate Chaos day of action, with groups across the world taking similar actions on the doorsteps of a range of financial and insurance institutions. At Lloyd’s, Coal Action Network’s memorial was preceded today by an ‘oil’ spill at their entrance, organised by others as part of the Defund Climate Chaos day of action. Coal Action Network are also facilitating a climate memorial in Newcastle at the offices of Lloyd’s syndicate Chubb insurance this afternoon.