Green Century files shareholder proposals with Chubb,* The Hartford* and Travelers* around their support of fossil fuel projects
Andrea Ranger, Shareholder Advocate, email@example.com, 781-349-2813
Mark Morgenstein, Media Relations Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 678-427-1671
Boston, December 19, 2022 – Green Century° has re-filed shareholder proposals with three of the top 10 global commercial property and casualty insurers: Chubb, The Hartford, and Travelers, asking all three to stop underwriting new fossil fuel projects. It is widely held that burning fossil fuels is the primary driver of climate change, so by extending insurance coverage to new coal, oil and gas operations, the companies support the growth of this polluting and environmentally onerous industry.
The insurance and banking sectors have undergone increased scrutiny in recent years for their outsized roles in underwriting new risks and providing capital for exploration, drilling, pipelines, ports and power station construction. Many scientists agree that approving new oil and gas fields paves the way for accelerated climate change and more extreme weather events.
Last year, Green Century filed similar proposals and won challenges by the companies at the SEC to bring the resolutions to the proxy ballot. After the insurers failed to change their policies regarding their underwriting and general liabilities in discussions with investors, Green Century filed proposals for consideration by shareholders at the companies’ 2023 annual meetings.
“It’s ironic that the companies charged with protecting us from disasters are exacerbating the devastating effects on our homes and lives from climate change-related floods, hurricanes and wildfires,” Green Century Funds President Leslie Samuelrich said. “By refusing to adopt this common-sense change to reduce risks for its customers, Chubb, The Hartford, and Travelers are supporting the industry most responsible for climate change and falling behind their European industry peers who have already assessed and addressed these risks.”
Chubb, The Hartford and Travelers’ insurance policies help prop up fossil fuel industry
While some insurers and fossil fuel companies are using the war in Ukraine to call for development of new oil and gas supplies, some energy experts assert that existing and approved planned development of fossil fuels are sufficient to satisfy global energy needs. The long lead time for new oil and gas fields would not produce fuel in time to mitigate the turmoil in current energy markets, and for decades to come, would produce carbon pollution that scientists agree the planet cannot afford.
“Fossil fuel projects don’t get built without insurance. Period,” said Green Century Shareholder Advocate Andrea Ranger. “This means that for years, Chubb, The Hartford and Travelers’ insurance policies have enabled capital to flow to projects that lock us into decades and decades of carbon pollution we can’t afford to emit. And, regrettably, insured losses from climate-related weather catastrophes are continuing to grow.”
While all three insurance companies have grown their renewable energy underwriting portfolios in recent years, climate experts from the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change state that fossil fuel development must be phased out even if renewable energy investments rise. Additionally, none of the three insurers has excluded underwriting fossil fuel projects in sensitive areas like the Arctic, a region that has warmed nearly four times faster than the rest of the world since 1979.
About The Green Century Funds
°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are one of the first families of fossil fuel free mutual funds in the United States. Green Century Capital Management hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.
*As of September 30, 2022, Chubb Limited comprised 0.00%, 0.49%, and 0.00%; The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.13%, and 0.00%; and The Travelers Companies Inc. comprised 1.39%, 0.23%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund, respectively. As of the same date, other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of any of the Green Century Funds. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.
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The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. 12/22