A placard reading "don't insulate West Cumbria coal mine"

Four insurance firms have given guarantees that they will not provide cover for the planned West Cumbria Coal Mine. AEGIS Managing Agency, Argenta Syndicate Management, Hannover Re and Talanx have all ruled out underwriting the mine.

The proposed new mine could see 2.78 million tonnes of coking coal extracted annually from what would be the UK’s first new underground coal mine in 30 years. The project has faced fierce public opposition with over 100,000 people signing a petition to stop it going ahead.

Andrew Taylor from Coal Action Network said: “The British government has ignored the pressure from people across the UK who are calling for them to stop the climate-wrecking West Cumbria coal mine, so today people have taken to the streets to demand that insurers and banks, including HSBC, turn their backs on this disastrous fossil fuel project. Four insurers stating that they won’t be involved is just the beginning.”

Claude Fourcroy, a spokesperson for Money Rebellion, added: “The West Cumbria mine is incompatible with the UK’s climate commitments and will fuel climate breakdown. The City of London needs to stop funding and insuring new fossil fuels now.”

In recent years, coal companies have found it increasingly hard to find traditional insurance for new and existing mines, leading some to take on additional costs and risks through self insurance. Many mainstream insurers who used to underwrite coal projects have adopted sector-wide exclusions for coal, however many of these policies do not cover the metallurgical coal that will be extracted from the proposed West Cumbria mine.

Coal Action Network hopes that the campaign to cut off insurance from the West Cumbria mine will lead to the insurance industry expanding existing policy exclusions to include coal for steel production.

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