Stop insuring fossil fuel projects, Group tells insurers

Fridays For Future Nigeria (FFFN), a coalition of climate justice activists has warned insurance companies to stop insuring fossil fuel projects.

According to the group in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Kingsley Odogwu, failure on the part of the companies to heed its warning would lead to massive protests in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Delta between February, 26 to March 3, 2024.

“We will join global fight demanding insurance companies around the world and in Nigeria insuring fossil fuel projects such as  AIG, Tokio Marine, Zurich Insurance, the Linkage Assurance Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc and others to stop immediately and start taking actions on climate.

“Actions will be held in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Delta from this Feb. 26 to March 3.

“All FFFN local activists and community members as well as university students will protest around the major cities in Nigeria demanding that these insurance companies take immediate actions to slow the climate crisis and support the urgent transition from dangerous fossil fuels to clean energy.

“Grassroots groups and activists from across the world are coming together to demand action; same events will be taking place in the UK, U.S. Japan, South Korea, Uganda, DRC, Nigeria, Switzerland, France, Peru, Colombia, Germany and Czech Republic.’’

Odogwu insisted there must halt further action in that regard as well as phase out support for existing coal, oil and gas projects, respecting human rights and supporting a just transition.

He said that 2023 was the hottest year since the records began; and extreme and violent weather events were increasing across every continent.

FFFN National Coordinator noted that burning of fossil fuels was the number one cause of the climate crisis, adding that the projects cannot operate without insurance.

“This puts the insurance industry in a uniquely powerful position to have an impact on the future of our world.

“ The environmental devastations caused by these fossil fuel industries in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria where the Indigenous people can no longer farm on their farmlands are enough reasons for these insurance companies in Nigeria to stop insuring new fossil fuel projects in the country and support a just transition to renewable energy.

“As we continue our ongoing Fossil Free Campaigns across the country, the Nigerian Government is hereby advised to keep all its promises on the  global climate Justice struggles before the International community and.

“Also, Nigeria Government should create conducive atmosphere for climate justice activists across Nigeria to peacefully continue their climate advocacy campaigns without any form of intimidation and harassment from the law enforcement agencies.’’

Odogwu said that the insurance industry was meant to protect communities but instead they were deepening the crisis the communities faced

According to him, the insurance companies will be guaranteeing a future with more wildfires, floods, droughts and storms if they continue to insure fossil fuels.

“Insurers have a choice – they can stop insuring dirty, planet–wrecking oil, gas and coal.

“We ask them to take action now to protect our children’s future because later is too late,” he said.