We Took Our Demands to the Doorstep of Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg

By Elana Sulakshana

Last month, RAN and partners in New York City built a two-story oil derrick right outside Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg’s house. Because while he’s making insurance deals and crunching profits in his lavish apartment, his fossil fuel clients are drilling right by people’s homes and polluting sacred lands around the world. We made clear that CEO Greenberg can’t ignore the climate crisis and the harms that his fossil fuel clients are enabling any longer.

CEO Greenberg claims to be a climate leader, but his actions clearly demonstrate otherwise. That’s why a coalition of organizations, including Catskill Mountainkeepers, No North Brooklyn Pipeline, NY Communities for Change, Public Citizen, Rainforest Action Network, Rise & Resist, Start: Empowerment, 350 NYC, and others, are targeting him directly to demand that Chubb cut the greenwash and take concrete action to protect communities and the climate.

Watch a short video of the action here:

Chubb’s global fossil footprint

At the action, Indigenous and youth leaders spoke about the need to hold Evan Greenberg accountable for the climate and environmental destruction he’s enabling through Chubb’s insurance and investment activities from as far away as the Arctic to right here in New York.

“Chubb claims to champion racial equity by making donations to civil rights organizations serving the very same populations they help to pollute. We don’t live in a vacuum. It is past time insurers stop backing fossil fuel projects driving systemic climate and environmental racism. For example, Chubb has previously insured National Grid, which built a massive high pressure fracked gas pipeline just under two miles from my home in Brooklyn without community consent, threatening the health and safety of nearly 153,000 people” – Kier Blake, a disruptive strategist and environmental justice organizer with Start:Empowerment, who was one of the speakers at the action.

Speakers also spoke to the links between Chubb and exploratory oil and gas drilling on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Gwich’in Steering Committee has repeatedly called on the company to rule out any additional support for extraction in the Refuge, but unlike 17 global insurers, Chubb has failed to do so.

“Chubb has continued to disregard our letters and dismiss our concerns and presence in our own homelands. We stand united against anyone who encourages the destruction of our ways of life, which interconnects the land, the water, and the animals. We will not allow any more people who look at our ancestral lands and see dollar signs to brush us aside. The Gwich’in Nation of Alaska and Canada, along with millions of allies and supporters, will hold all those who seek to disrupt or destroy the calving grounds of the porcupine caribou herd responsible and expose how they are putting profit before people.” – Bernadette Demientieff, Executive Director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee.

someone holds up a protest sign that says "Protect the Arctic Refuge. #StandWithTheGwichin"
Photo by Katie Godowski

During the action, we handed out flyers to passersby and neighbors, featuring a map of all of the dirty projects that Chubb has been linked to or has refused to rule out, including the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Australia, and others. From Chubb’s office and his home in NYC, CEO Greenberg is complicit in harms against communities and ecosystems thousands and thousands of miles away.

A person holding a yellow and purple flyer detailing Chubb atrocities that was handed out to passerbys at the protest.
Photo by Katie Godowski

Delivering our “Greenwashing Award”

After hearing from an incredible line-up of speakers and chanting, “Chubb, get off it, put people over profit!” we attempted to deliver a petition with more than 50,000 signatories, urging CEO Greenberg to stop insuring oil and gas expansion and respect human rights. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t come down to accept it, nor would building security. As part of the petition delivery, we also gifted him a “greenwashing award” in the form of a smaller mock oil rig, to represent the business interests he is prioritizing over people and planet.

a person holding a miniature oil derrck with the plaque that reads "greenwashing award"
Photo by Katie Godowski

What did he do to deserve this honor? Chubb was the first US company to adopt a coal policy in 2019, and in doing so, the company stated its intention to be a “steward of the earth” and a leader within the industry on climate action. But since then, Chubb hasn’t adopted any restrictions on insuring oil and gas expansion, unlike 13 global insurers. CEO Greenberg has even refused to sit down and meet with Indigenous communities that have sought to discuss fossil fuel expansion projects on their territories.

Instead of ratcheting up his company’s climate ambition, Greenberg is backtracking. He completely ignored investors that called for the company to issue a report on its plans to align business with a 1.5ºC climate pathway, and he recently proclaimed that Chubb is in the business of insuring “sustainable and responsible” fossil fuel expansion projects. That is complete and utter greenwash: no fossil fuel expansion project is sustainable in the midst of the climate crisis.

In comparison with global peers, Chubb is lagging far behind, and we’ve got the data to prove it. According to Insure Our Future’s sixth annual Scorecard on Insurance, Fossil Fuels, and the Climate Emergency released last week, Chubb’s fossil fuel policies earned just 0.5 out of 10 points, ranking near the bottom of the 30 companies evaluated.

Protesters outside the CHUBB CEO's home Demand they Insure Our Future!
Photo by Katie Godowski

Meanwhile, climate change is costing Chubb billions

Just two days before we took action, Chubb announced that it had lost millions of dollars this quarter due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Ian. In addition to being the right thing to do, cutting ties with fossil fuel expansion projects is just plain common sense, as the insurance industry is increasingly paying out to cover the costs of climate-fueled wildfires, hurricanes, and floods.

Shouldn’t CEO Greenberg know better? Insurance is, after all, the business of risk management. As climate-related disasters threaten its bottom line, Chubb is adjusting to a warming world by withdrawing coverage from homeowners in wildfire-affected regions and flood zones. And yet it continues to support the coal, oil, and gas projects that are making the problem worse.

Protestors chanting. One holds a cloth sign that says "stop insuring oil and gas". The oil derrick is in the backrgound.
Photo by Katie Godowski

Will Evan Greenberg become the insurance leader that our planet demands?

Chubb must stop supporting fossil fuel expansion that pollutes communities, violates Indigenous rights, and fuels worsening climate disasters. CEO Evan Greenberg has a choice ahead of him: to insure our future, or more climate chaos.

protestors gathered outside of Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg's building holding a banner that reads "chubb ceo insure our future not oil and gas", among other signs, and a two story tall oil derrick