Climate activists build giant oil pipeline outside Lloyds of London in protest over fossil fuel insurance
Climate campaigners from have today built a giant fake oil pipeline outside the headquarters of insurance market Lloyd’s of London. The campaigners, from Coal Action Network, are protesting Lloyd’s of London for its role in the insurance of the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline in Canada and the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
The action took place as Lloyd’s of London was set to hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) today.
The Trans Mountain Pipeline carries diluted bitumen through Canada, and the planned expansion would see its capacity tripled, enabling the transporting of 890,000 barrels of oil per day. The expansion was first approved by the Canadian government in 2016, and it has faced fierce opposition for years, both in Canada and internationally. Opposition has stemmed from the significant impacts such fossil fuel infrastructure expansion will have on the climate, and from the effects of the pipeline on Indigenous peoples.
As part of its campaign, Coal Action Network is calling on Lloyd’s of London staff to sign an open letter to John Neal, the insurance market’s CEO. The letter demands that Neal ‘make a clear statement on behalf of all of Lloyd’s members that no Lloyd’s syndicate shall renew or provide insurance for any aspect of the Trans Mountain or EACOP pipelines’, and that he ‘implement[s] a policy to stop the underwriting of fossil fuel expansion and other carbon-intensive projects by all members of the Lloyd’s marketplace.’
Kayah George of Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Tulalip Tribes said,
The Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline threatens my nation and our sacred Sleilwaut (Burrard) inlet; our place of creation. The pipeline poisons our clam beds and violates the rights of many Indigenous communities along its length and at its source. Expanding tar sands extraction and increasing the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline network is nothing less than climate destruction,
To date, 16 companies have ruled out insuring the Trans Mountain expansion project, but insurers on the Lloyd’s of London marketplace likely remain as the pipeline’s lead insurers. The Lloyd’s marketplace and syndicates like Arch urgently need to get the message: it’s time to move away from dirty fossil fuels and instead uplift Indigenous rights, a healthy environment, and a stable climate.
Lloyd’s of London is composed of many underwriters and insurance companies. Campaigners claim that Lloyd’s of London insures projects that no one else will, including the most controversial fossil fuel projects.
Accusing Lloyd’s of London of having ‘blood on their hands’, Coal Action Network said that its continued targeting of the insurance market was designed to shed light on its “appalling environmental record”. The group said,
We want to shed light onto Lloyd’s of London’s appalling environmental record, and the colonialist practices from which Lloyd’s of London grew. From the insurance of slave ships, to the insurance of climate-destroying projects that dispossess indigenous peoples of their land, Lloyd’s of London have blood on their hands.
Today’s action comes as an increasing number of insurance companies have ruled out insuring the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. 18 companies have now ruled it out, including Zurich Insurance, which was previously one of the project’s insurers.
Lloyd’s of London is reported to have recommend its shareholders watch its AGM online to mitigate against disruption from climate protesters.
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