UPDATE 26 August 2022
Lockton has confirmed to Market Forces that it is not and will not broker insurance for Adani’s Carmichael thermal coal project. Find out more here.
23 June 2022
Two weeks ago, the #StopAdani campaign received a tip-off that on 29 May 2022, Lockton, a US-based insurance broker, was appointed to arrange insurance coverage for Adani’s climate-wrecking Carmichael coal mine and rail line. Market Forces followed up with a letter to Lockton putting this information to the head of its Australian operations Paul Marsden and the London office (where the tip-off said a representative of Adani’s went to meet with Lockton staff), and it has not been denied. In what may be a coincidence, Adani Australia’s insurance manager for its mining, rail and port operations, Brad Green, left Lockton to take on that role in March 2022, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Lockton has been given the opportunity to correct the record and deny any involvement but is currently choosing to stay silent.
112 major companies have ruled out providing services to the disastrous Carmichael coal mine, due to the reputational risks of being involved with such a destructive project. Lockton’s willingness to work for Adani Carmichael, as more and more lives and livelihoods are lost in the ever-worsening floods, heatwaves and fires fueled by coal, is a terrible look for a company that claims to put “its clients, people and community at the centre of its decision making”.
If the tip-off is true, Lockton is likely to be a direct replacement of Adani’s previous, long-standing insurance broker Marsh, which a media report claims is no longer working for the disastrous coal mine.
The #StopAdani campaign’s focus on insurance for the Carmichael project has been incredibly successful. Forty-four of the world’s biggest insurance companies are refusing to provide coverage for Carmichael. When Adani turned to the Lloyd’s of London insurance market, outreach by Market Forces and others in the #StopAdani Alliance succeeded in convincing 28 Lloyd’s syndicates, including at least five existing Carmichael insurers and the ten biggest market players to commit to no further insurance.
In May 2021, Carmichael rail line construction contractor BMD admitted it had searched the world for insurance and had been unable to find essential coverage specifically for its work for Carmichael. Adani had to take on its risk.
In another indication of Adani’s insurance problems, the head of Adani Australia, Lucas Dow, was in the media in the lead up to this year’s Federal Election, asking for the Australian taxpayer to prop-up a coal miner self-insurance scheme.
Considering Carmichael’s ongoing insurance difficulties, any work Lockton does for Adani could prove decisive in enabling the mine to continue to operate and boost production.
Adani’s Carmichael coal mine should not be going ahead. It is one of the most environmentally and socially contentious projects in the world, the subject of an almost decade-long community opposition campaign. It is being resisted by the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners who have not given their consent to the mine. It is already threatening the region’s water supply, putting agriculture at risk. It will increase industrialisation in the already distressed Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. In the midst of a climate crisis and worsening floods, bushfires and heatwaves, it would produce enough coal over its lifetime to emit 4.6 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to over ten times the UK’s entire annual emissions.
According to climate scientists and experts at the International Energy Agency, no new coal mines can be built if we’re to hit global emissions targets that governments around the world have committed to. Supporting the Adani Carmichael project would put Lockton on the wrong side of these commitments and on the wrong side of public opinion. The time for Lockton to commit to not working for Carmichael is now.