Axis Capital Bans Insuring New Arctic Oil-And-Gas Drilling
By Dieter Holger
Global insurance company Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. won't insure
any new oil-and-gas drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, joining
other insurers that have taken a stance against underwriting fossil
fuels in the region.
"We can confirm that AXIS will not underwrite new insurance or
facultative reinsurance contracts, or provide investment support,
for projects covering the exploration, production or transportation
of oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," said Conrad
Brooks, the insurer's general counsel, in a letter dated Jan. 11 to
the Gwich'in Steering Committee, a nonprofit that represents the
Gwich'in indigenous people of the Arctic.
An Axis spokesperson confirmed in an email that the letter,
which was released by the Gwich'in Steering Committee, was
authentic, but declined to provide additional comment. Axis
reported $26.5 billion in assets in the third quarter of 2020.
Mr. Brooks said that Axis would publish an updated policy this
year "that will reinforce this commitment and consider a range of
factors including wider Arctic energy exploration activities. This
policy will be an extension of our existing policy to limit thermal
coal and oil sands underwriting and investment."
Axis's move follows insurance companies AXA SA and Swiss Re
Ltd.'s decision to rule out underwriting Arctic drilling. More than
two dozen banks, including Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
and Deutsche Bank AG, have policies against investing in Arctic
oil-and-gas, according to the nonprofit BankTrack.
The Gwich'in Steering Committee said it would continue to
pressure more insurance companies to pull out of the Arctic,
including Liberty Mutual Group and American International Group
Liberty Mutual and AIG didn't immediately respond to requests
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 15, 2021 13:10 ET (18:10 GMT)
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