Photographs will be available here.
San Francisco (April 12, 2022) – This morning, Indigenous Environmental Network and Rainforest Action Network dropped a giant banner outside the largest insurance conference in North America – RIMS 2022 RISKWORLD – to spotlight Chubb Insurance’s destructive climate and human rights record. The banner reads: “Chubb, Don’t Risk Our Communities,” in reference to the destructive, rights-violating coal, oil, and gas projects that Chubb insures globally.
Conference attendees could see the 30 x 20 ft banner – on 3rd Avenue between Folsom St & Howard St – from the entrance to the Moscone Center, where the RISKWORLD conference is taking place, as well as from inside the building. The banner is part of a flurry of activities in San Francisco targeting the insurance industry while employees are in town, including a 30-foot mural painted at the opening ceremony on Sunday and wheatpaste poster designs throughout the city urging insurers to #DefundClimateChaos.
Mea Johnson, Divestment Campaigner with Indigenous Environmental Network, said: “As a top oil and gas insurer, Chubb has been linked to oil and gas expansion projects across the world that have not obtained the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of impacted Indigenous communities, from oil drilling in sensitive ecosystems off the coast of Brazil to seismic testing to explore for oil and gas reserves on the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge and oil pipelines like the Dakota Access Pipeline and Trans Mountain network.”
Although it was the first U.S. insurer to adopt a coal policy in 2019, Chubb is now falling behind insurance peers when it comes to action on fossil fuels. Since then, the company has ignored repeated requests to meet from Indigenous leaders and frontline communities impacted by its insurance and investment practices – and has continued to recklessly insure oil and gas expansion.
While Chubb has made a statement saying that it does not insure tar sands projects, such as the Trans Mountain pipeline, the company has refused to formalize that in a public-facing policy with clear definitions and details. Furthermore, it has not adopted any restrictions on insuring oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, unlike 12 major insurers, or oil and gas expansion projects more broadly, as eight insurers have done to date.
“The Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline threatens my nation and our sacred Sleilwaut (Burrard) inlet; our place of creation. The pipeline poisons our clam beds and violates the rights of many Indigenous communities along its length and at its source. It also affects communities in California because, with increased tar sands production, refineries in the East Bay are escalating their grave risks to community health and safety, including impacting the air quality,” said Kayah George of Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Tulalip Tribes. “While Chubb appears to have cut ties with Trans Mountain as of September 2021, it has not yet formalized a tar sands exclusion policy. Chubb urgently needs to get the message: it’s time to move away from dirty fossil fuels and instead uplift Indigenous rights, a healthy environment, and a stable climate.”
Today’s banner action is part of a series of actions spotlighting Chubb and other laggard U.S. insurers for their role in enabling fossil fuel expansion. On Sunday, April 10, a coalition of organizations, including Indigenous Environmental Network and Rainforest Action Network, painted a giant mural outside the RISKWORLD opening ceremony on Sunday, April 10.
“Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg claims to be a climate leader, but we are taking action today to call out his hypocrisy and reject Chubb’s greenwashing. We demand real action to ensure the health and safety of frontline communities, not vague statements and commitments to take action in 20 or 30 years,” said Mary Lovell, Insurance Campaign Coordinator with Rainforest Action Network. “This spring, investors, alongside Indigenous leaders and climate activists, are taking action in the boardrooms and in the streets to push Chubb to stop insuring new fossil fuel projects. But instead of heeding their call and adopting ambitious climate policies, Chubb is fighting their own shareholders and ignoring communities.”
Throughout the conference, activists are also targeting Liberty Mutual, The Hartford, and Travelers for their subpar commitments on climate and human rights.
In addition to the mural and banner, posters calling on the insurance industry to #DefundClimateChaos have appeared around downtown San Francisco. Activists have also handed out hundreds of flyers to attendees of the RISKWORLD conference to educate them about the role that U.S. insurers could play in accelerating a just energy transition and to invite employees at these companies to push for action internally.