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Canadian Insurers Examining $14 billion in fossil fuel investments amid growing climate risk

Environmental Sustainability

 Canada insurers, insurance premiums, natural disasters, TD Bank, Fossil fuel

Investor group calls for regulatory action amid backlash against insurers over fossil fuel investments amid climate change impacts.

According to a research by Investors for Paris Compliance (I4PC), Canada's top property and liability insurers are coming under fire for their investments in fossil fuel extraction totaling more than C$19.5 billion ($14.30 billion), given the growing dangers associated with climate change.  

According to the advocacy group's research, there are worries that these investments would increase insurance claims and premiums, which will make Canada's already high rates of climate-related disasters like floods and wildfires worse. Just last year, these catastrophic disasters led to over C$3 billion in property claims, marking one of the costliest years on record for insured losses in the country.

The research names a number of insurers that have substantial interests in fossil fuels, including Intact Financial, which reduced its exposure from C$1.48 billion to C$742 million by the end of the first quarter. Desjardins justified its C$298 million worth of investments by saying they would have little effect on its whole financial portfolio.

As per the research, two prominent financial institutions are the leading investors in fossil fuels, having financed a combined C$15.47 billion and C$1.53 billion total, respectively in TD Bank and Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd

With intact promising to attain net-zero emissions by 2050, the results correspond with a larger movement towards sustainability. But detractors contend that more forceful measures are required, urging insurers to reveal and carry out transition plans to lessen their reliance on fossil fuels.

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