Update 26 July 2019: Yesterday afternoon, in response to a shareholder resolution lodged by Market Forces, Suncorp revealed that it is dumping thermal coal for good! Suncorp will now refuse to invest in, finance or underwrite new thermal coal mining extraction projects, and new thermal coal electricity generation. It will phase out all thermal coal exposures by 2025.
Suncorp’s shift out of coal means that there is now not one single major Australian insurance company willing to insure new thermal coal projects.
However, the resolution we lodged on behalf of over 100 shareholders called on Suncorp to get out of all fossil fuels, so they need to be reminded to finish the job! Please contact Suncorp using the form below to congratulate them on their shift out of coal, and ask them to dump dirty oil and gas too.
Suncorp could still support oil and gas expansions
In addition to there being no Australian insurer willing to back new coal projects, Suncorp’s exit from coal by 2025 and QBE’s exit by 2030 also means that any existing coal-burning power station that intends to stay open past 2030 will need to find insurance elsewhere.
However, if Suncorp is serious about aligning its business with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, it needs to do more.
At its September 2019 annual general meeting Chairman McLoughlin, in response to a shareholder question said, “in terms of our exposure to oil and gas, we do not have any current intentions to increase that“.
While this is a decent initial position to have, considering Suncorp’s currently low level of exposure to oil and gas, it needs to turn this statement into official policy for it to calm customers and investors.
The gas industry is seeking to continue its destructive expansion here in Australia, and Suncorp must provide official assurances that it will not assist in this expansion in any way.
Global warming is already hitting Suncorp hard. Claims due to floods, fires, cyclones and other natural disasters exceeded Suncorp’s provisioning by approximately A$1.7 billion in the past decade. Suncorp has under-provisioned for natural hazards in eight of the last 10 years. Allowing for the expansion of fossil fuels in any way is further exposing the company’s bottom line to the impacts of global heating, along with the millions of customers it’s supposed to be protecting.