Insurance industry Joins Push to Decarbonize Global Shipping

December 16, 2021

LONDON– Leading companies in the marine insurance industry have joined an initiative linking their underwriting activities with the cutting of carbon emissions from global shipping as pressure builds on the sector to go fully green.

Last month countries including the United States at the COP 26 climate summit pushed for the UN’s shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to adopt a zero emissions target by 2050.

Companies signing up to the “Poseidon Principles” for marine insurance commit to assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of their hull and machinery portfolios and benchmarking them against IMO targets.

The IMO’s goal is to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from ships by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050, although there is growing pressure for a commitment to full decarbonisation by 2050.

“The disclosure framework provided by the Poseidon Principles will enable us to credibly report our progress towards net-zero insurance using granular marine data,” Patrizia Kern, marine head at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, said in a statement.

Rolf Thore Roppestad, chief executive of marine insurer Gard, added that the “common goal is an accelerated move towards a decarbonized industry.”

Other insurers and reinsurers who have signed up are Hellenic Hull Management, SCOR, Victor International and Norwegian Hull Club.

Insurance broker Willis Towers Watson, specialist underwriting agency EF Marine and marine insurance association Cefor have also joined the initiative.

In 2019, an initial group of leading banks signed up to environmental commitments in the first use of the Poseidon Principles, whereby financiers would take account of efforts to cut CO2 emissions when providing loans to shipping companies.

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