Munich, Germany-based European insurance and asset management firm, Allianz, has announced that it will pull the plug on investments in coal companies and increase investments in wind energy. Allianz is one of the largest financial institutions in the world, managing €2 trillion. They estimate the decision will result in a shift of €4 billion.
350.org Europe campaigner Nicolò Wojewoda comments: “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 global move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy is gathering pace in the lead up to the climate summit in Paris. More and more institutions ban investments in fossil fuels with Allianz being the biggest investor to join the movement yet,” he continues.
As of September, more than 400 institutions managing $2.6 trillion had made divestment commitments. In the lead-up to the climate negotiations, that number is now approaching 500 institutions including major investors such as Allianz and the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund.
The divestment campaign aims to weaken the fossil fuel industry’s political influence by getting more and more institutions to cut their ties to these companies. Decisions of large investors like Allianz however also hit the industry’s financial stability. It sends a clear signal to investors that the world is rapidly moving away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy.
The divestment movement is modelling what we need countries to do during the climate summit in Paris: stop investing in fossil fuels and invest in a just transition to 100% renewable energy. Over the two weeks of the summit, activists and investors will gather at different events to build on the momentum of the campaign.