Chubb to insure oil, gas projects only if they cut methane emissions

A handout screen grab from thermographic video footage shot with an infrared camera at the SNAM underground storage facility in Minerbio
A handout screen grab from thermographic video footage shot with an infrared camera and made available to Reuters June 10, 2021 by Clean Air Task Force (CATF), shows what appears to be a plume of methane gas flowing from a vent stack at the SNAM underground storage facility in Minerbio, Italy. CATF found methane seeping into the atmosphere at 123 oil and gas sites visited in seven EU states by placing the infrared camera in public vantage points to detect hydrocarbons such as methane that are invisible to the naked eye. CATF/James Turitto/Handout via Reuters

MILAN, March 22 (Reuters) - Chubb (CB.BN), the world's biggest property and casualty insurer, said on Wednesday it would from now on provide coverage for oil and gas extraction projects only to clients that proved they had plans to reduce methane emissions.

A byproduct of oil and gas production, methane emissions are among the most damaging greenhouse gases for climate change.

The new criteria will be immediately effective, Chubb said, adding customers would have some time "to develop an action plan based on their individual risk characteristics."

Chubb will actively support customers in devising methane emissions reduction technologies.

To continue to receive insurance coverage clients must at the very least have in place programmes to detect leak and remove non-emergency venting.

"Clients must adopt one or more measures that have been demonstrated to reduce emissions from flaring," Chubb said in a statement, adding the new policy - the first in its sector - aimed to strike a balance between the need to reduce greenhouse gases and energy security.

Chubb also said it would stop providing insurance coverage for oil and gas projects in government-protected conservation areas in the World Database on Protected Areas that do not allow for sustainable use.

Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by David Gregorio

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