The incident highlights a growing trend shedding light on insurers’ responsibilities in tackling climate change.
Protestors from Money Rebellion disrupted play at the AIG Open on the Walton Heath Old Course to highlight AIG’s insurance of fossil fuel projects, including the East Africa Crude oil pipeline. The protestors rushed the green on the 17th hole, while tournament leaders Lilia Vu and Charley Hull were on the green.
Money Rebellion is an affiliate of the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion. Caught on camera by Sky Sports, five members of the group ignited flares and displayed banners bearing slogans like ‘AIG is a climate criminal’ and ‘AIG stop insuring climate crisis’ during the final round of the Walton Open golf tournament.
Jane Clarke from Money Rebellion said: “AIG are insuring climate breakdown by enabling deadly fossil fuel projects to pump out more and more greenhouse gasses. AIG know the science and are happy to protect their profits by cutting off insurance for homeowners facing floods and fires, caused by climate change. The executives making these decisions are climate criminals. Instead of sponsoring golf events to clean their image, they must stop insuring all new fossil fuel projects now.”
AIG, a prominent player in the insurance industry, has been linked to various oil and gas projects globally. This includes the Freeport LNG in Texas, where an explosion occurred in June 2022.
Despite pressure from activist groups, AIG has refused to rule out support for the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). This sets AIG apart from other insurers including Aspen and QBE who have publicly stated they will not support the pipeline.
Zaki Mamdoo, StopEACOP Campaign Coordinator, said: “AIG must make a clear commitment that it will not underwrite EACOP. Any insurer which would provide coverage for such a project is immediately complicit in all its associated destruction, abuse and exploitation. Instead, insurance coverage must be directed towards protecting vulnerable communities, mitigating climate risks, and promoting a radical transition to renewable energy alternatives.”
Digital campaigning organisation Ekō also mobilised millions of members to send AIG tweets and take action on social media during the Women’s Open. Insurers have faced increasing pressure to stop underwriting fossil fuel. Recently Money Rebellion has stenciled ‘Stop EACOP’ onto insurers offices across the UK.
Image: Money Rebellion