(Reuters) — A global climate alliance of insurers must make its membership rules less prescriptive or risk falling apart, the head of Lloyd’s of London said after political pressure from some U.S. states prompted some firms to leave.
The UN Environment Program said on Wednesday that “recent discussions within the US” had been behind four insurers leaving the UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance in recent months.
In response, Lloyds chief executive John Neal told Reuters the exits should lead to a rethinking of what it means to be a member of the group.
“There are five targets, and you have 12 months to meet one of them and 36 months to meet three of them. NZIA needs to take a fresh look at what their targets are or the alliance will fall apart.”;
Mr. Neal added that Lloyd’s met the NZIA’s requirements and had no plans to close. “We don’t need to precipitate this,” he said.
Signatories to NZIA, part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero set up by UN climate envoy Mark Carney, will hold a call on Thursday to discuss the situation in the US and NZIA’s options, including whether to “continue or wind down it,” said a source familiar with the matter.
That conversation will be followed by a meeting of the group’s steering committee, chaired by Renaud Guidee, Axa’s group chief risk officer, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
An NZIA spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reinsurer Swiss Re joined Munich Re, Zurich Insurance and Hannover Re on Monday to exit NZIA. All four have significant US operations.
This month, 23 U.S. attorneys general told NZIA members that the group’s goals and demands appeared to violate both federal and state antitrust laws. They gave insurers a month to respond in a May 15 letter seen by Reuters.
They also accused insurance companies of colluding “to advance an activist climate agenda” that had “severely harmful effects” on residents of their states.