Travelers Europe says it will not insure Adani coal mine project

LONDON (Reuters) - Insurer Travelers Europe, which has a syndicate in the Lloyd’s of London market, does not plan to insure Adani Enterprises’ Carmichael thermal coal mine, it said on Friday.

Carmichael has provoked controversy in Australia because it would open up a new thermal coal basin at a time of growing concern over global warming in a region that is in need of jobs.

“Travelers does not insure, and has no plans to insure, the Adani Carmichael mine project,” a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

Adani has begun construction at Carmichael, which will start by producing 10 million tonnes of coal per year, together with an associated rail project, and expects first production in 2021.

The coal industry is in the spotlight for its higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions than crude oil.

Many insurers, particularly in Europe, have pulled back from insuring thermal coal. Lloyd’s of London insurers have continued to do so, industry sources say.

But this is set to change after Lloyd’s issued its first climate strategy for its 100 syndicate members in December 2020, ending its previous hands-off approach to the issue.

Lloyd’s has asked members to stop providing new insurance cover for thermal coal, oil sands, or new Arctic energy exploration from Jan. 1, 2022, with a target date of Jan. 1, 2030 to phase out the renewal of existing cover.

Lloyd’s of London insurer Apollo said last year it would not provide insurance for the Carmichael project after Sept 2021.

Reporting by Carolyn Cohn, editing by Huw Jones and David Evans