Munich Re Ltd said on Friday it has left the UN Net-Zero Insurance Alliance over antitrust concerns.
“In our view, the possibilities to pursue decarbonisation targets in a collective approach among insurance companies worldwide without exposing ourselves to significant antitrust risks are so limited that it is more efficient to pursue our climate ambition to reduce global warming individually,” says Joachim Wenning, CEO . of Munich Re, in a statement.
Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, co-founded the organization in 2021.
Members of NZIA, which include around 30 major European and Asian insurers and reinsurers, pledge to convert greenhouse gas emissions from their insurance portfolios to “net-zero emissions by 2050 consistent with a maximum temperature increase of 1.5 (degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels to 2100 to contribute to the implementation of the COP21 Paris Agreement.”
The pledge also requires members to support the implementation of corporate disclosure and policy frameworks relevant to the transition.
In January, NZIA released its first “Target-Setting Protocol” requiring members to set and disclose their initial emissions reduction targets for their emissions portfolios by 31 July.
In its statement, Munich Re said it was “adhering to its ambitious climate targets”, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to its investment portfolio, refusing to insure new oil and gas fields and gradually reducing its coverage of thermal coal-related exposures. The reinsurer has previously said it stopped insuring new coal-fired plants, coal mines and oil sands mines.
Insurance companies have come under increasing pressure from climate activists. Last week, an activist group wrote to 30 insurance companies and reinsurers, including Munich Re, urging them to stop underwriting new fossil fuel projects.
NZIA members Swiss Re Ltd., the world’s second-largest reinsurer, and Allianz SE declined to comment. Several other major insurers and reinsurers that are members of the NZIA did not immediately respond to requests for comment, nor did the NZIA.