Allianz aims for "climate-neutral" investments by 2050

Berlin (AFP) –


German insurer Allianz aims to make the massive investments that back its business "climate-neutral" by 2050, chief executive Oliver Baete told shareholders Wednesday.

"One of the main thrusts of our commitment to society is based on measures to combat ongoing global warming," Allianz boss Baete told the group's annual general meeting in Munich.

The commitment to going climate-neutral means that Allianz will no longer invest money in shares or bonds issued by companies whose activity is harmful to the climate.

With a portfolio of nearly 670 billion euros ($750m) at the end of 2018, the Munich-based insurer has a lot of weight to throw behind green investments.

As an asset manager, it manages a portfolio of 1,960 billion euros on behalf of external clients, but so far has applied no exclusionary policies to their placement.

"As a leading insurer and investor, we know exactly what the devastating consequences could be when climate policy is exhausted in debates, yet no action follows," said Baete.

"Every citizen, every organisation and every state can make its contribution."

On top of placing its funds with an eye on the climate, the group also plans to power its offices in 70 countries around the world with renewable energy by 2023.

Allianz's promise to shift to climate-friendly investing comes a year after the group announced it would stop offering insurance products to coal-fired power plants or coal mines, whether operating or planned.