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Generali To Divest €2 Billion From Coal & Increase Green Investments By €3.5 Billion

Italian insurance company Generali Group has announced that it will not only divest €2 billion worth of coal investments but will increase its green investments by €3.5 billion by 2020. 

Italian insurance company Generali Group has announced that it will not only divest €2 billion worth of coal investments but will increase its green investments by €3.5 billion by 2020.

The Generali Group, one of the leading insurers in Europe, announced last week that a Board of Directors meeting had approved a new climate change strategy which was situated strongly in divesting from coal-related activities and investments while simultaneously ramping up their involvement in “green” sectors.

Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. (aka, the Generali Group) is the leading insurer in Italy, the second largest in Germany, and a leading insurance company in France. Generali had €70 billion in gross written premiums at the end of 2016 and business across Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Its new strategy on climate change is part of the company’s larger and ongoing move towards sustainable investments “consistent with the commitment of the community in tackling the most significant global challenges” — focusing primarily on issues related to climate change.

Specifically, Generali has committed to increasing its investment in “green sectors” by €3.5 billion by 2020, working primarily through green bonds and green infrastructures. Additionally, Generali will cease making investments in businesses associated with the coal sector and divest almost entirely from its €2 billion worth of coal-related investments.

With regards to coal divestment, Generali will cease making new investments, will divest of existing equity investments, and eliminate bond investments by bringing them to maturity or considering divesting them before maturity. Generali will make exceptions for companies in countries where the production of electrical and heating is still dependent on coal and where there are no alternatives in the medium term, but these exceptions are expected to only account for 0.02% of the company’s investments.

“Protecting the environment and adopting effective actions to tackle climate change are central issues for Assicurazioni Generali,” said Group CEO Philippe Donnet. “With this action plan, which follows a series of initiatives undertaken in the last several years, the Company strengthens its leadership position as a responsible business, to contribute to a healthy, resilient, and sustainable society.”

Defining exactly what “coal-related businesses” refers to, Generali refers to its “stringent criteria”:

  • Companies for which more than 30% of revenues derive from coal
  • Companies for which more than 30% of energy produced derives from coal
  • Mining companies that produce more than 20 million tonnes per year of coal
  • Companies actively involved in building new coal facilities or plants
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