US firms under pressure to drop coal

US insurance companies are coming under increased pressure to ditch fossil fuel investments by consumer groups as climate change becomes an increasingly drastic issue. Following a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detailing how the world is headed for “climate catastrophe,” insurers are now under more pressure than ever to divest from coal-related business, but US companies continue to lag behind their European counterparts. According to nonprofit Consumer Watchdog, the top 10 US insurance companies currently have investments in the fossil fuel business totalling roughly $50.9bn. Reportedly, nine out of those 10 firms have considered the impact of climate change on their investments, but only two, AIG and Farmers, have altered their investment strategies in response. Even so, those two firms, along with their eight other counterparts have made no pledge to cease insuring fossil fuel related entities or to stop investing in companies related to the fossil fuel industry. State Farm has the largest fossil fuel investment out of the group, totalling $22.4bn, and has no plans to alter its current investments in the space. Several of the 10 firms seemed adamant that climate change would not impact their business in the short term.

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