AXA to Invest EUR12 Billion in Fight Against Climate Change

By Marc Bisbal AriasFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

AXA SA (CS.FR) said Tuesday that it would accelerate its commitment to fight climate change by increasing its green investments to 12 billion euros ($14.1 billion).

The insurer, which had committed in 2015 to reach EUR3 billion in green investments by 2020, said that it's quadrupling the original target, given that it has already reached it.

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"A +4°C world is not insurable. As a global insurer and investor, we know that we have a key role to play," said Chief Executive Thomas Buberl, adding that in the spirit of the Paris Agreement, the company wants to accelerate its commitment and confirm its leadership in the fight against global warming.

AXA said that it would also divest more than EUR3 billion from carbon-intensive energy producers. In 2015, the company had decided to divest EUR500 million from the coal industry, a figure that it has decided to increase fivefold to EUR2.4 billion. In addition, it will divest EUR700 million from the main oil sands producers and associated pipelines, and said that it will stop further investments in these businesses.

It would be inconsistent to commercially support industries that the group is divesting from, the company said, adding that it will stop insuring any new coal construction projects. Similarly, it will stop insuring the main oil sands and the associated pipeline businesses.

AXA and the International Finance Corporation are launching an innovative $500 million partnership to support climate-related infrastructure projects in emerging countries with private sector funding, it said. No investments in coal and oil sands related projects will be made.

"The fight against climate change requires engagement in a global collective action. This can be done through collaborations and partnerships, and also by leading by example," Mr. Buberl added.

Write to Marc Bisbal Arias at marc.bisbalarias@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 12, 2017 05:03 ET (10:03 GMT)