Insurers Pressured to Drop Coverage of Canada’s Oil Sands Pipeline

A coalition of 32 environmental and indigenous groups on Thursday urged insurers to stop underwriting the Trans Mountain pipeline to pressure Canada to cancel its plan to expand the project which carries crude from Alberta’s oil sands to British Columbia’s Pacific coast.

Self-insurance by the government for the expansion would cost taxpayers $1.1 billion, the groups said. Pressure is growing for financial companies to pull back from insuring and investing in polluting industries like coal and oil as part of an effort to combat climate change.

The coalition sent a letter to 27 companies registered to insure the pipeline, including Munich Re, Talanx and Zurich Insurance Group AG, asking them to drop their coverage before Aug. 31, the deadline for Canada to renew its liability insurance.

The groups said they hope the pressure “will show the Canadian government that the expansion is uninsurable.”

The Canadian government bought the pipeline from Kinder Morgan to help solve crude transportation bottlenecks for landlocked Albertan crude. Environmental activists say the project will undermine Canada’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 70% below 2005 levels by 2030 under the Paris climate agreement…

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