US insurance giant AIG unveiled a range of ESG commitments at the start of March which drew praise from environmental activists.

AIG

The commitments included a series of pledges around coal underwriting and investments, with AIG stating it will phase out risks and investments for clients that derive 30 percent or more of their revenues from coal-fired power, thermal coal mines or oil sands by 2030 or sooner.

With immediate effect, AIG said it will no longer invest in or provide insurance for the construction of any new coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines or oil sands.

AIG said it will also no longer invest in or underwrite new operation insurance risks of coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines or oil sands for those clients that derive 30 percent or more of their revenues from these industries, or generate more than 30 percent of their energy production from coal.

While the commitments were made before the full extent of Russia’s military assault on Ukraine unfolded, a spokesperson for AIG confirmed to this publication that it would not roll back on any of its pledges as a result of the impacts of the conflict.

With immediate effect, AIG said it will also not invest in or provide insurance cover for any new Arctic energy exploration activities.

Hannah Saggau, insurance campaigner with activist group Public Citizen, said AIG had “vaulted itself from a laggard in the industry to a leader in the US” with the move.

She said the commitments “mark the beginning of a new chapter in which the US insurance industry is no longer lagging behind its peers in the exit from coal”.