Killing the coal industry off quietly

Extracting and using coal makes a lot of environmentalists and global warmists spitting mad, despite it being a necessary resource for many developing countries seeking to raise their living standards. Yet doing so raises red flags with greens who claim using coal means even more carbon emissions.

Aside from making noise with politicians and coal mining companies by protesting with huge, sign carrying crowds and obstruction coal mine entrance campaigns, unfortunately, environmentalists may have found a mechanism to end coal’s usage: make insurance for coal mines and even power stations unavailable. By doing so it makes the risk of constructing such edifices unaffordable.

A few days ago, Reuters reported that the world’s largest, German-based reinsurance company, Munich Re, announced it will no longer reinsure coal mines, power plants and the company will not reinvest in bonds or shares of companies that generate more than 30% of their sales with coal or fossil fuel-related companies. This decision by Munich Re comes after its main French competitor, Scor, announced a similar policy.

It is very likely that a campaign on the part of activist investors since, as Reuters pointed out, Munch Re said it would not follow in the footsteps of another competitor, Swiss Re. According to the Financial Times, reinsurance is a business that spreads insurance risk underwritten by one insurance company through a variety of other insurance companies. If insurance companies do not want to expose themselves to huge risks with one policy, reinsurance does it for them acting like an intermediary.

With the reinsurance industry backing out of fossil fuels, specifically coal, then coal mining in Europe could be at risk of grinding to a halt. Previous attempts have been made (which have been largely meaningless) with various religious organizations along with colleges, universities, and even countries (Ireland) to divest their investments in fossil fuels.

Now, there is this decision by companies, like Munich Re, that carries a lot of weight and has teeth to it. Hopefully an alternative to companies, like Munich Re, is available so coal mining in Europe won’t be jeopardized. However, this goes to show to what extent greens will go to shut down industries so people cannot have access to affordable forms of energy. The end result being depreciated qualities of life and even death.