AXA to boost green investments, gives red light to coal

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December 13 (Renewables Now) - AXA SA (EPA:CS) plans to step up efforts to fight climate change by quadrupling its green investments through 2020, furthering divestments from carbon-intensive energy producers and adjusting its insurance policy.

The French insurance and asset management group said on Tuesday it is multiplying by four to EUR 12 billion (USD 14bn) its 2020 green investments target, having met early its original goal of EUR 3 billion. The group noted that the new target is twice as high as the recent recommendation by COP21 chief negotiator Christiana Figueres to invest 1% of assets into green and clean technology by 2020.

AXA also announced that it will divest not just EUR 500 million worth of coal industry assets as previously planned, but EUR 2.4 billion. It intends to exit companies generating more than 30% of their revenues from coal, having a coal-based energy mix that exceeds 30%, actively building new coal plants, or producing over 20 million tonnes of coal per year. Moreover, it will shed EUR 700 million from the main oil sands producers and associated pipelines, while also discontinuing further investments in such businesses.

When it comes to the insurance field, AXA plans to cease insuring any new coal construction projects as, it says, it would be inconsistent to commercially support the sectors that the group is divesting from. AXA will no longer insure the main oil sands and the associated pipeline businesses either.

The group said further that it is launching a USD-500-million partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to back climate related infrastructures projects in emerging countries with private sector funding.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.174)

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