Love means…stop insuring climate chaos - Extinction Rebellion UK

Love means…stop insuring climate chaos

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Extinction Rebellion issues a Valentine’s Day warning that insurance industry firms will be targeted by escalating protest and disruption from February 26 unless they stop greenlighting fossil fuel projects setting the planet on fire.

“Roses are red, violets are blue. Stop insuring fossil fuel crooks or we’ll come after you.”

That’s the Valentine’s Day message from Extinction Rebellion to insurance and reinsurance businesses in the City of London and in cities and towns across the UK as thousands of activists prepare to target them in a week of actions kicking off on February 26.

Chidi Obihara, of Extinction Rebellion said
: “Just 20 companies insure 70% of fossil fuel projects. Many of these companies are based in the City of London, or in cities and towns across the UK. Thousands of us will pay them a visit during our week of actions to convince them to abandon the oil, gas and coal industry completely.

“This is the insurance industry’s chance to be the climate heroes that we all need in these terrifying times. They have the power to pull the plug on the fossil fuel crooks once and for all. To play a huge role in saving us all from a future of drought, famines, killer storms and heatwaves and war.”

Today Extinction Rebellion has put the insurance industry on notice that ‘the clock is ticking’ for its members to pledge to deliver three key demands, or face mass protests in London and across the UK.

XR are staging their own independent set of protests from February 27 as participants in the Insure Our Future Global Week of Action. Other campaign groups, including Mothers Rise Up and Eko, are taking action in the UK

The three demands are:
– Stop enabling fossil fuels: immediately cease insuring new and expanding oil and gas projects
Respect human rights: only insure projects that respect the human rights of all, and have the informed consent of Indigenous Peoples and communities
Support a just transition: increase industry support for renewables, frontline communities, and those in energy-crisis.

Extinction Rebellion has created a list of more than 40 potential targets for protest and disruption in London and elsewhere in the UK that includes leading insurance, underwriters and managing agents. Leaders of firms on the list will receive personal letters of intention asking them to stop insuring climate chaos over the next week.

Todd Smith, of Extinction Rebellion, said: “The insurance firms on our list, alongside several household names who continue to insure fossil fuel projects, have until midnight on February 25 to pledge to meet the coalition’s three demands if they want to be removed as potential targets for protest during the week of actions.

“If they fail to do so, Extinction Rebellion and the other members of the coalition will use a wide variety of protest tactics to bring their behaviour to public and media attention with the aim of causing major reputational and revenue damage.

“This is only be the beginning. We won’t stop until insurers get out of the fossil fuel industry for good.”

The week of actions in the UK is part of a synchronised Insure Our Futures Global Week of Action that will include at least 33 protests against insurance firms in 24 countries around the world, including the USA, France, Germany, Switzerland, Czechia, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, DRC, Costa Rica, Columbia, Peru, South Korea, Japan. (1)

The campaign is an escalation of global pressure by activists that has seen 45 insurance companies commit to ending or restricting insurance for coal projects, and 26 firms introducing policies to end or restrict insurance in tar sands projects.

Six major insurers stopped insuring Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Australia last year, bringing the total refusing to insure the project to 45, after sustained campaigning by climate movements. A coalition of major reinsurance firms pulled out of EACOP (2) in January in the face of growing protests about fossil fuel expansion and fears about damage to their reputations. (2)

Facing rapidly rising and unsustainable costs insurers are passing on their costs to ordinary home owners. The insurance industry earned approximately $21.25bn from insuring fossil fuels in 2022, but was hit by global economic losses of $275bn in 2022, of which $125bn was insured. (3)

Families struggling with the cost of living crisis are being hit by soaring insurance premiums, and more and more of them are expected to find their homes rated ‘uninsurable’ as extreme weather events become more frequent and damaging in the decades ahead (4).

Extinction Rebellion hopes the insurance industry will see this as an opportunity to help change the course of history and become climate leaders.

Notes to editors:
1) Where the action is happening in the Insure Our Futures Global Week of Actions:
2) Insurers pulling out of carbon bomb projects:
3) Insurance industry losses in 2022 due to climate crisis:
4) Homeowners facing threat of uninsurability due to climate crisis:

About Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a decentralised, international and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

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Time has almost entirely run out to address the climate and ecological crisis which is upon us, including the sixth mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, leading to societal collapse and mass loss of life. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.

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