coal factory Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Stop Insuring Climate Disaster

While insurance industry representatives declare their intent to rein in global warming and ensure a livable planet, their agents are still busy working behind the scenes to underwrite new coal-fired power stations, oil rigs, tar sands projects, gas pipelines, and other polluting projects. But that may be about to change.

RIPTON, VERMONT – Last month, the United Kingdom enjoyed its first full day without the need for coal power since the Industrial Revolution began. That’s remarkable news – and a sign of the future to come as the country that began humanity’s centuries-long romance with burning black rocks is now moving on.

Just as the fax gave way to email and whale oil gave way to kerosene, so is coal giving way to cleaner forms of energy. And that handover will happen faster – perhaps fast enough to let us at least slow down the pace of climate change – if the massive and mighty insurance industry would play its part.

By underwriting the development of our industrial society and the coal that has powered it, the insurance industry was one of the Industrial Revolution’s crucial but often overlooked enablers.

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