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Marine insurers adopt principles to decarbonise shipping

Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance establish a pioneering framework to engage with the shipping industry and support net-zero insurance

Posted on: 15 December 2021

Six of the world’s leading marine insurers launch a groundbreaking initiative to provide transparency on carbon emissions and support the shipping industry’s green transition.

The Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance are a framework to quantitatively assess and disclose the climate alignment of marine insurers’ underwriting portfolios. This pioneering initiative makes marine insurance the first line of business to establish a sector-specific methodology to support the ambition of the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), where members commit to transitioning their underwriting portfolios to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, in order to contribute to the implementation of the COP21 Paris Agreement.

“The transition to net zero is a massive endeavour and we appreciate the efforts of the marine industry. As risk managers, insurers and investors, the insurance industry has a key role in supporting the transition to a net-zero economy. The Poseidon Principles will serve our institutions as well as our clients to quantitatively assess and disclose the climate alignment of their underwriting portfolios and thus improve decision-making at a strategic level and shape a sustainable future for all. The disclosure framework provided by the Poseidon Principles will enable us to credibly report our progress towards net-zero insurance using granular marine data,” says Patrizia Kern, Marine Head at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and Chair of the drafting committee for the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance. “As signatories of the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, NZIA, we at Swiss Re encourage everyone in the marine industry to align with net-zero 2050 targets.

”Signatories to the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance commit to assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of their hull and machinery portfolios, and to benchmarking them against two trajectories: one linked to a 50% reduction of annual CO2 emissions by 2050 compared to 2008 – in line with the International Maritime Organization’s Initial GHG Strategy; and one linked to a 100% reduction of emissions by 2050.  Furthermore, a third trajectory will be introduced to align the full decarbonisation trajectory with zero-lifecycle GHG emissions in order to meet the ambition of net-zero commitments such as the NZIA, and to support a zero-emissions future for shipping.

“We need to work together to tackle the challenge of climate change. As such, the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance are an important contribution from the marine hull insurance industry. The principles provide us with a common tool to monitor progress over time. As a leading marine insurer, we will work together with our Members and clients to make sure that the principles and the methodologies applied are as practical and straightforward as possible. Our common goal is an accelerated move towards a decarbonized industry,” says Rolf Thore Roppestad, Chief Executive Officer of Gard, and Vice-Chair of the drafting committee.

Brokers and other key stakeholders in marine insurance commit to supporting the Principles as affiliate members and align with the goal of decarbonising international shipping by 2050.

“By joining this important initiative, we wish to demonstrate our deep commitment to working with our clients and business partners to successfully navigate the transition to a net-zero future,” says Ben Abraham Chief Executive Officer, Global Marine at Willis Towers Watson.

Founding Signatories include Swiss Re, Gard, Hellenic Hull Management, SCOR, Victor International, and Norwegian Hull Club. Additional marine insurers are expected to join in the near future.

Affiliate members supporting the Principles are Willis Towers Watson, Cefor, and EF Marine. The Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance are founded on the methodology used in the Poseidon Principles for Financial Institutions and were developed in an effort spearheaded by leading marine insurers and industry stakeholders with expert support provided by the Global Maritime Forum, Swiss Re Institute, and UMAS. The International Union of Marine Insurers (IUMI) is a supporting partner.

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