Categorized | Finance, Fossil Fuels

Europe’s largest insurer Allianz to pull funds out of coal businesses

Allianz will withdraw investment from coal companies over the next six months, a top executive told German state broadcaster ZDF on Monday.

The Munich-based insurer, which manages €2 trillion worth of assets, is divesting from mining firms and utilities that get more than 30% of revenues or power from coal.

Chief investment officer Andreas Gruber said it would double investment in wind power to €4 billion over the next few years :

“We will no longer invest in mining companies and utilities that generate more than 30 percent of their sales or energy creation from coal”, Mr Gruber commented.

The financial giant is the largest asset manager yet to announce its departure from the most polluting fossil fuel.

It follows French counterpart Axa, which in May committed to sell €500 million worth of coal holdings, and Norway’s $900 billion sovereign wealth fund (€846m).

An estimated US$2.6 trillion (€2.4tn) worth of funds had committed to fully or partially divest from fossil fuels by September.

The moral case for cutting ties with the climate-damaging sector has got a boost from coal’s recent crash in value. A slowdown in demand growth from China has driven global coal prices down to half their 2011 level.

Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said at a webcast briefing on Tuesday those who bought coal shares in 2013 would today have lost 75% of their investment.

The Allianz Group employs 147,000 people and operates in over 70 countries, according to its website.

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