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Insurance giant ditching coal industry called ‘major step forward’—especially if others follow

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Campaigners who have sought to pressure the global industry insurance into ending their support for the world’s dirtiest energy sources—including coal and tar sands—are cautiously celebrating victory Monday after insurance giant Chubb, specifically citing the climate crisis, announced it will stop underwriting coal mines and no longer offer new policies to businesses that derive more than 30 percent of their revenues from the mining of coal.

“Even though U.S. insurers have known about the risks and impacts of climate change for decades they have continued to insure the fossil fuel projects and companies that are causing the climate crisis. That makes absolutely no sense financially or ethically.”
—Ross Hammond, Insure Our Future

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With an official announcement and details of the new policy set for Monday, the Financial Times was the first to report the news on Sunday.

“Chubb recognises the reality of climate change and the substantial impact of human activity on our planet,” said Chubb’s CEO Evan Greenberg.

Joseph Wayland, general counsel for the company, explained that the decision was made for both planetary and business reasons.

“As a global insurer we are impacted by climate change, in everything from increasing fire risk to flooding,” Wayland said. “Climate change . . . can be seen in the increasing severity and frequency of natural catastrophes.”

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According to the FT:

Over the past two years, insurers have been hit by a series of large natural catastrophe claims.

According to Swiss Re, the insurance industry faced $76bn of losses from natural catastrophes in 2018, the fourth highest sum on record.

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Not all of the catastrophes can be directly linked to climate change, but modelling specialists say that some of them, such as the series of wildfires that hit California last year, are made more likely by warmer temperatures.  Chubb’s decision could increase the pressure of other big US insurers such as AIG and Travelers to act.
Though officially headquartered in Switzerland, Chubbs does much of its business in the United States, where it has faced intensifying demands to end insuring planet-killing projects.

In response to the news, Insure Our Future—part of the Unfriend Coal coalition which has worked to convince the U.S. insurance industry to stop insuring and investing in coal and tar sands projects and companies worldwide—said it wanted to see the details of Chubb’s plan before making a complete assessment but that it should be seen as “a major step forward,” especially if other companies follow suit.

“We are looking forward to seeing Chubb’s new coal policy which will be the first by a major U.S. insurance company,” said, Ross Hammond, senior strategist for the group. Even though U.S. insurers have known about the risks and impacts of climate change for decades they have continued to insure the fossil fuel projects and companies that are causing the climate crisis. That makes absolutely no sense financially or ethically.”

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If the policy is as strong as Chubb claims, said Hammond, it could provide a major push inside the industry. “Other U.S. insurers, like Liberty Mutual and AIG,” he said, “must now join Chubb in acknowledging the role the U.S. insurance industry has to play in stopping climate change by ending their support for coal.”
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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump lies to the press about his massive tax increasing while departing to France for the G7 Summit

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President Donald Trump was caught repeating inaccurate claims when he spoke to reporters before boarding Marine One for his trip to France for the G7 Summit.

"I think our tariffs are very good for us. We're taking in tens of billions of dollars, China is paying for it," Trump argued.

In reality, China is not paying for the tariffs, which are paid by American importers and passed on to consumers, making the announcement a massive tax increase on Americans.

"Our tariffs are working out very well for us, people don't understand that yet," Trump argued.

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Bill Maher presents ’25 things you don’t know about Stephen Miller’ on Real Time

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The host of HBO's "Real Time" presented "25 things you don’t know about Stephen Miller" on Friday.

"In high school, I was voted 'Most Likely to Comb My Mummified Mother's Hair,'" was one item.

"I think tacos are stealing jobs from hamburgers," was another.

"I'm a Cancer. I don't know my astrological sign," was a third.

"The worst part about my car smelling like wet dogs, is that I don't own dogs," was a fourth.

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Bill Maher dances on David Koch’s grave: ‘I’m glad he’s dead and I hope the end was painful’

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HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher celebrated the death of right-wing billionaire David Koch, who died of prostate cancer.

"I guess I'm going to have to reevaluate my low opinion of prostate cancer," Maher said.

"Condolences poured in from all the politicians he owned and mourners are being asked, in lieu of flowers, to just leave their car engine running," he said.

"I know these seem like harsh words and harsh jokes, and I'm sure I will be condemned for them on Fox News, which will portray Mr. Koch as a principled libertarian who believed in the free market," Maher said. "He and his brother have done more than anybody to fund climate science deniers -- for decades."

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