San Francisco, CA –– Today, Liberty Mutual, one of the world’s largest fossil fuel insurers, announced that it has signed onto the Principles for Responsible Investment, an international network of institutional investors committed to including ESG factors in their investment decision making.
Earlier this month, Liberty received failing scores in the Insure Our Future climate change scorecard, which evaluates global insurance companies’ fossil fuel policies and other aspects of climate leadership. In recent months, the Boston-based insurance giant has faced growing pressure from Indigenous leaders, politicians, including Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and policyholders to align its business practices with a healthy and habitable planet for all.
Elana Sulakshana, Energy Finance Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network (RAN), issued the following statement:
“Joining the Principles for Responsible Investment demonstrates that a groundswell of public pressure is pushing Liberty Mutual to recognize its substantial role in driving the climate crisis. But if Liberty is serious about this commitment then it needs to truly shift its practices and stop supporting fossil fuel expansion and human rights abuses.
“On the investment side, that means divesting from all fossil fuel projects and companies that are not aligned with a 1.5ºC pathway, including the Baralaba South coal mine that it owns in Australia.
“Today’s announcement is remarkably silent on Liberty’s core business of insurance, and Liberty has not even signed onto the Principles for Sustainable Insurance, a parallel network for insurance companies. For Liberty’s commitment to make any real world impact, it must end its unrestricted underwriting of oil and gas projects and companies, strengthen its coal restrictions, and respect human rights, which includes cutting ties with the controversial Trans Mountain and Keystone XL tar sands pipelines.
“In October, 60 climate and rights groups around the world issued the Principles for Paris-Aligned Financial Institutions, which establishes clear standards that insurers and other major financial companies must meet to be truly Paris-aligned. Liberty Mutual has a long way to go to meet these standards, and will face increasing scrutiny in the runup to the crucial U.N. climate conference in Glasgow next November.”