The four insurers of the Apocalypse

Unfriend Coal has pointed to four European insurers that are continuing to support the expansion of Poland’s coal industry as the country prepares to host the UN Climate Summit next month.

Germany’s Talanx, Austrian insurers Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) and UNIQA, and Poland’s PZU are supporting plans to build more than 7GW of new coal power, undermining international action to avoid dangerous climate change and threatening to increase deaths from air pollution across Europe.

Lucie Pinson, European coordinator of Unfriend Coal, said: “When the world’s governments gather for the UN climate summit in Katowice this December they will be breathing some of Europe’s most polluted air. Delegates should remember that coal companies are only able to poison the air and undermine climate targets because insurers like Talanx, VIG, UNIQA and PZU are willing to underwrite their activities.”

Since February, when Unfriend Coal’s Dirty Business report highlighted insurers supporting Poland’s coal industry, Allianz, Generali and Munich Re, have all pledged to stop insuring new coal power.

Kuba Gogolewski, from the Polish NGO Foundation “Development YES Open-Pit Mines NO”, said: “Polish companies are pressing ahead with aggressive development plans despite growing evidence that new coal plants will lose money. This shows they care little about tackling climate change, protecting public health, or acting in the best interests of shareholders.”

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