BERLIN (Reuters) – Munich Re <MUVGn.DE>, the world’s biggest reinsurer, will stop investing in bonds and shares of companies that generate more than 30 percent of their sales with coal-related business, its chief executive said, caving to pressure from investors.
“In the individual risk business, where we can see the risks exactly, we will in future in principle no longer insure new coal-fired power plants or mines in industrial countries,” Joachim Wenning added in a commentary to be published in German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Monday.
Policymakers are pushing companies to do more to help meet a target, agreed in Paris in 2015, to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. Investors are increasingly using their financial muscle to reward those at the forefront of that transition.
Swiss Re <SRENH.S>, world number two by share value, said in July it would not reinsure any company for which thermal coal represents more than 30 percent of its business, following French peer Scor <SCOR.PA>.
Despite being a vocal supporter of the Paris deal, Munich Re had said as recently as last month that it did not plan to copy Swiss Re in limiting its underwriting of coal companies.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)