Australian insurer Suncorp to stop oil and gas project coverage

21 August 2020 (Last Updated August 21st, 2020 15:50)

Australian banking and insurance group Suncorp announced it will no longer underwrite any new oil and gas exploration projects, effective immediately, along with phasing out all underwriting and financing for such projects by 2025.

Australian banking and insurance group Suncorp announced it will no longer underwrite any new oil and gas exploration projects, effective immediately, along with phasing out all underwriting and financing for such projects by 2025.

Suncorp says that governments can no longer leave climate change in the “too-hard basket”, while warning that extreme natural disasters, such as the Australian bushfires that cut its profits by one-third, will continue to hurt businesses already battling the effects of Covid-19.

Suncorp chairman Christine McLoughlin said: "Suncorp has taken a careful and considered approach to building resilience to the physical risks of climate change, as well as reducing the impacts of economic and transition risks, to ensure our business is sustainable into the future."

The insurer is also dedicated to cease direct investments in oil and gas projects altogether by 2040, backed by interim goals to gradually phase them out over the next decade.

This decision makes Suncorp the first major insurer to establish any policy restricting underwriting pledge for oil and gas.