Shareholders reject resolutions on climate change and human rights
Zurich, Switzerland (May 17, 2023) – Unlike last year, in which 72% of shares cast supported a resolution from As You Sow, shareholders of Chubb Limited (NYSE: CB) did not pass the same measure on if and how it plans to measure, disclose, and reduce its emissions associated with underwriting and investment activities in alignment with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5ºC goal. Also, in the first resolution of its kind at a US insurer, Chubb faced a resolution filed by Domini Impact Investments calling on the insurance giant to issue a report describing how human rights risks, impacts, and evaluations are incorporated in the underwriting process. This resolution did not obtain majority support.
Chubb recently became the first U.S. insurer to restrict insurance coverage for certain oil and gas extraction projects, which may have satisfied investors. Yet the insurer only rules out a fraction of proposed oil and gas expansion, according to a new brief from Rainforest Action Network. Communities fighting climate chaos remain highly critical of the company’s environmental progress.
“Gulf Coast communities like mine live with the daily impacts of toxic air pollution and gas flares from the fossil fuel facilities in the region, and Chubb’s new oil and gas policy falls short of real climate and environmental justice measures. By not voting for strong climate and human rights measures at Chubb’s annual meeting today, investors are failing to recognize the major loopholes in Chubb’s policy that mean it can continue to insure oil and gas expansion in my community, poisoning our air, water and soil.”- Roishetta Ozane, Texas Campaign for the Environment and The Vessel Project director
In the lead up to the AGM, demonstrations on the company took many forms: a projection action illuminated its policy loopholes and the community impacts of the methane gas projects it underwrites on North Brooklyn gas tanks (photo attached below). A few weeks prior, activists delivered hundreds of copies of an analysis of Chubb’s oil and gas policy while CEO Evan Greenberg was giving a keynote speech at the largest insurance conference in North America. Chubb has an estimated 500-800 million USD in annual premiums from the industry according to market intelligence firm Insuramore, with links to oil extraction in Alaska, offshore oil drilling expansion in Brazil, and methane gas expansions on the Gulf Coast.
“Today, investors failed to hold Chubb accountable for its massive fossil fuel footprint and incomplete policy measures by failing to pass these resolutions,” said Mary Lovell, Energy Finance Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network. “ Additionally, it is clear that Chubb’s investors do not yet understand that the future of energy and our environment must center on human rights.”
“Explosive gas export facilities are violating my community’s right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent. Gas expansion in the Gulf and around the world is threatening sacred sites, land, air, water and climate,” said Christa Mancias, Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas“This March the world’s climate scientists called for one giant leap for humanity to transform our economic systems to save ourselves. Chubb and its shareholders have responded with one small step – with an inadequate policy to restrict oil and gas expansion and lukewarm votes on shareholder resolutions failing to reflect the severity of the climate emergency. If Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg is at all serious when he speaks about climate as an existential threat, he needs to take personal responsibility for the failures of his company to heed the warnings of climate scientists and the demands of communities impacted by Chubb’s fossil fuel policies,” said Risalat Khan, Insure Our Future.