AXA extends its Oil and Gas exclusions to support the energy transition

AXA-extends-Oil-and-Gas-exclusions

AXA extends its commitment to fight climate change and protect biodiversity. AXA announces several new milestones in its approach to the energy sector by strengthening its existing Oil and Gas exclusions, with a specific focus on unconventional activities and new greenfield explorations.

“The climate emergency requires us to step up our actions and support the transition towards a low-carbon economy. The unprecedented and complex transformation needed can only happen by enabling companies from the energy sector to implement ambitious transition plans. Going forward, AXA is determined to focus its support only on actors with the most far-reaching and credible transition strategies,” said Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA.

AXA’s new commitments are the following:

Firstly, AXA will stop investing in and underwriting new upstream oil greenfield exploration projects unless they are carried out by companies with the most far-reaching and credible transition plans.

  • AXA excludes all new direct investments in listed equities and corporate bonds in developed markets in Oil and Gas companies operating in upstream and/or oilfield services and/or downstream subsectors, as well as most midstream players. AXA selects integrated Oil and Gas companies for investments based on a restrictive selection process. Less than 5% of the approximately 650 companies identified in the Global Oil and Gas Exit List by NGO Urgewald meet AXA’s criteria.
  • From 2023, AXA will apply the same selection process, and take into account the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) framework as it becomes available, for its underwriting business of new insurance coverage on new upstream oil greenfield exploration projects.

Secondly, AXA will significantly reduce its investment and insurance exposure to unconventional exploration and production from its business from 2022, as follows:

  • Arctic: AXA extends the scope of its Artic investment and underwriting restrictions beyond the Arctic circle and the 70°N zone in alignment with the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment

Programme (AMAP).  Only businesses with Norwegian operations in the AMAP region will be maintained, given their high environmental standards and lower operational carbon footprint. AXA will strengthen the thresholds applicable to both its investments and insurance activities in this particularly fragile region, excluding new investments and underwriting coverage for Oil and Gas extraction activities carried out in the AMAP region by companies deriving more than 10% of their production from the AMAP region or producing more than 5% of the worldwide volume of AMAP-based Oil & Gas. For underwriting, exemptions may be granted if the projects are carried out by Oil and Gas companies with the most far-reaching and credible transition plans.

  • Oil sands: on top of the existing restrictions in place, AXA will adopt a more stringent policy by ceasing direct investments in companies producing more than 5% of the worldwide volume of oil sands. For underwriting, current exclusions will be extended to all lines of business.
  • Fracking / shale Oil and Gas: AXA will no longer directly invest in companies, nor provide any insurance coverage to activities of companies, deriving more than 30% of their production from fracking / shale Oil and Gas.

Lastly, AXA continues to intensify its investments in green and low-carbon energies.

The Group's green investment target increases to Euro 26 billion by 2023, compared to Euro 24 billion announced at the end of 2020.

Thomas Buberl added, “With over 10 years of experience and a long-standing commitment to adapt its business and leverage its strengths in the fight against climate change, AXA continues to tighten its investment and underwriting criteria, which are today among the most demanding in our industry. As the world enters a decisive decade in this fight, AXA aims to continue working and engaging with all the relevant players to deliver on its NetZero commitments, while continuing to support economies and societies in this unprecedented transformation."

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About AXA

In July 2012 the AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary businesses came together to form a new single organisation – AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary.

The business offers brokers a more integrated and consistent approach from AXA which is focussed on their needs as a business – whatever the product. AXA Commercial Lines & Personal Intermediary provides underwriting expertise, offering a range of commercial lines and personal lines products and insurance solutions to our brokers and customers.  AXA Commercial & Personal Intermediary is part of AXA Group, a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management serving 101 million clients

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