With an estimated $30 trillion in assets under management, the insurance industry is a huge (but mostly invisible) force in influencing the direction of the global economy. Yet insurance companies are doing incredibly little to fight climate change – and get away with it: Out of the largest 30 insurers in the world, 29 pretty much do not take the Paris Climate Agreement at all into account and continue to back new oil, gas and coal as well as collect vast premiums from existing oil, gas and coal projects. Collectively, their Paris Climate Agreement-related policies, where these exist at all, amount to not much more than a giant pile of green-washing guff.
If you listen to banks and their explanations of they are doing about climate change, you might get the impression that most “get it” and are fighting it shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of humanity. In fact, banks are funding enough carbon-intensive projects and companies to guarantee a 4°C rise or above in global warming, with their eyes wide open and in full cognizance of the facts.
This episode on banks is the first in a series by The Angry Clean Energy Guy focused on the key actors in our global financial system – from banks to insurance companies, accountants, lawyers, rating agencies and institutional investors – and exposing who is really fighting climate change and who is pretending to while in reality putting short-term profit over people, health and planet.
“Fresh air” is a myth. In reality, 90% of us (worldwide) are breathing dirty air on a permanent basis. Because we can’t see the pollution in our air, we don’t tend to think about it enough. But our air is weakening all of us and killing 7 million a year, as well as placing an undue burden on health systems in every country. This has to stop and it can: No more petrol or diesel cars, trucks, buses, two- and three-wheelers, or trains – all of which can be replaced today by clean alternatives. Soon, no more petrol or diesel ships and planes too. Let’s get going.