German company holding €2 trillion worth in assets said it will shift an estimated €4 billion into clean energy
By Megan Darby
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.
Campaigners welcomed the low carbon shift, which comes the week before world leaders meet in Paris to thrash out a global climate deal.
Nicolo Wojewoda of 350 said: “As the world’s largest insurance company, Allianz knows a thing or two about risk – and there’s no greater risk for the climate than continuing to invest in an industry that is wrecking the planet.
“Divestment from coal is a heartening first step; ultimately, however, 80% of all fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to avoid dangerous and irreversible climate change.”
The financial giant is the largest asset manager yet to announce its departure from the most polluting fossil fuel.
An estimated US$2.6 trillion 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.