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by Tommy Wilkes

LONDON (Reuters) – Insurers remaining in the U.N.-backed coalition to fight climate change are in talks to loosen the alliance’s membership requirements after a recent exodus from members, two people familiar with the discussions said.

The sources said the UN-backed Net Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) would remove a six-month deadline for members to publish greenhouse gas emissions targets, among other changes, to illegally publish their membership.

The hope, he said, is to “steady the ship” and create a place for former members to consider returning later. The NZIA has lost more than half its members, including AAAA, Lloyds of London and Tokyo Sea, since the attorneys general of 23 Republican-led US states sent a letter demanding information about the insurers’ membership and threatening legal action.

AGSA said the NZIA’s requirement that members publish and meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets appeared to violate antitrust laws, and the union’s actions raised insurance and other costs for consumers. In the year Launched in 2021, NZIA is one of several industry alliances under the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) umbrella group to support insurers’ efforts to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050 with net portfolios.

NZIA now has 12 members, down from a peak of 30. Other GFANZ coalitions have also come under US political pressure but have not seen many members leave.

Concerns about potential rule changes The NZIA’s ‘Target Setting Protocol’, published in January, requires insurers to publish their first 2030 targets for reducing emissions by the end of July, or for new entrants within six months of joining, and then demonstrate their progress against the targets. every year. But the remaining members, Britain’s Aviva, Italy’s Generali and South Korea’s Shinhan Life, want the insurers not to publish targets at the same time, which could invite fresh accusations of anti-competitive collusion, the first source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of sensitivity. About it.

An NZIA spokesman declined to comment.

The potential for lax rules has been threatened by environmental advocates, who say insurers are doing too little to curb emissions and that aggressive collective action is needed.

“NZIA has had very minimal requirements and expectations of membership from the start,” said Peter Boshard, co-ordinator of the Insurance Future campaign.

“The only thing left to do is set the target,” he added. “Without such requirements, NZIA will be just another industry talking shop”.

Among other ideas being discussed is making the alliance a broad platform where insurance industry bodies can participate in areas such as targeting best practices, the first source said.

The sources said the changes under discussion were not finalised, and it was unclear how the union would deal with insurers dragging their feet on publishing targets.

(Reporting by Tommy Reggiori Wilkes; Editing by Greg Roumeliotis, Simon Jessop and Emilia Sitole-Mataris)

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