July 26, 2019 / 2:09 AM / 3 months ago

Australia's Suncorp to phase out exposure to thermal coal by 2025

MELBOURNE, July 26 (Reuters) - Australian insurer Suncorp Group Ltd said on Friday it was no longer underwriting insurance for new thermal coal mines or power plants and it will phase out all exposure by 2025 as part of its responsible investment policy.

Suncorp has “materially” cut its investment in fossil fuels, including thermal coal, and does not “directly invest in, finance or underwrite new thermal coal mining extraction projects,” the company said in a statement to Reuters.

The comment came after climate lobby group Market Forces lodged a shareholder resolution for the company to report on its fossil fuel exposure at its annual general meeting in September.

Insurers globally have been reducing their business around coal. Insurer Chubb and Zurich Insurance Group have both in the past month revised their policies to limit their thermal coal exposure.

Market Forces last week lodged a similar resolution with AGL Energy, Australia’s biggest power generator, calling on the company to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Richard Pullin

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