Munich Re faces opposition from The Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany

 

The Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany has issued the following motion at the Munich Re ahead of the company's annual general meeting on 28 April. 

The Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany proposes that the actions of the members of the Board of Management not be ratified.

Reasons:Munich Reinsurance Company’s Board of Management continues to fail to sufficiently fulfil its responsibility to implement more effective measures for climate protection.Munich Re has been warning of the catastrophic effects of the climate crisis and calling for countermeasures for almost 50 years. In its own business, however, the Group is too hesitant in its measures against the use of fossil fuels, even though they are the main cause of the climate crisis. Since 2018, Munich Re no longer (re)insures coal-fired power plants and mines. There are reduction targets for investments in coal and other fossil fuels. Arctic and oil sands transactions are excluded. These are all steps in the right direction, but they are far too small in view of the magnitude of the climate crisis. 

Exclusion of oil and gas projects: Munich Re’s competitors are already further ahead on climate protectionIn order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate protection, no new oil and gas deposits should be developed. This has now been recognised by the International Energy Agency (IEA), among others. Due to the importance of (re)insurers for the feasibility of projects, Munich Re has a decisive responsibility here.The direct competitors Swiss Re and Hannover Re have begun to exclude new oil and gas projects from reinsurance. Munich Re has no restrictions in this area so far. It only holds out the prospect of reducing climate-relevant insurance exposure in the area of oil and gas production and exploration by a meagre 5 per cent by 2025, and net zero emissions should somehow be achieved in 2050. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, Munich Re, as the world’s largest reinsurer, must act now and stop insuring new oil and gas projects. 

Lack of transparency in the carbon footprintNo fully validated Group-wide carbon footprint for 2021 was available for the Annual Report 2021 – the basis on which the Board’s performance was to be assessed. This clearly shows the low value Munich Re itself attaches to one of the most important key figures for sustainability performance and climate protection. The focus here is less on the Group’s direct greenhouse gas emissions and more on the carbon footprint of the value chain (Scope 3). For example, the investment portfolio is not supposed to be climate neutral until 2050, although it is unclear in which steps the reductions will actually be implemented after 2025.

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