Corporate Commitment to Protect the Arctic Refuge

February 17, 2021
Updated 6/1/22

The Gwich’in Steering Committee has engaged directly with global banks, energy companies and insurers to ask for policy to protect the Arctic Refuge and impacted Indigenous communities from the harms of fossil fuel development on the Coastal Plain.

We have compiled the lists below of major companies which have adopted policy or are in the process of creating policy that protects the Coastal Plain, as well as companies which have no policy or stated commitments to the Refuge. Those with commitments now include every major American and Canadian Bank among 29 global financial institutions, and 14 international insurers.  Our engagement is ongoing. 

INSURANCE INDUSTRY COMMITMENT TO PROTECT THE ARCTIC REFUGE
See our insurance industry scorecard.

  • Allianz (German) – “As of 1st of January 2023 we will not issue new single-site/stand-alone P&C insurance policies/coverages and not provide new funding for projects in… practices relating to Arctic (as defined by AMAP13 , excluding operations in Norwegian territories)… This pertains to both new and existing projects/operations.” – 4/28/22
  • AXA (France) – “French insurer Axa SA has prohibited insurance of oil and gas exploration in the Arctic regions since 2018, and that includes the wildlife refuge in Alaska. A two-year grace period for existing contracts to expire has now passed.” – 11/19/20
  • AXIS (Bermuda) – “Axis won’t underwrite new insurance or offer facultative reinsurance contracts, nor provide investment support for projects involved in exploration, production or transportation of oil and gas in the refuge.” – 1/15/21
  • Generali (Italy) – “ our policy includes the commitment to protect [the] Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with a global exclusion of all oil & gas exploration and extraction activities” – 7/27/21
  • Hannover Re (Germany) – “we rule out, among other ESG issues, any new oil and gas drilling projects in the U.S. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as any other drilling projects related to oil and gas exploitation in artic [sic] regions.” – 7/28/21
  • KBC (Belgium) – In October 2021, KBC announced that the company will no longer provide credit, advice or insurance to new oil and gas fields.
  • MAPFRE (Spain) – “MAPFRE will not insure any individual new offshore/onshore projects taking place in the Arctic for natural gas or petroleum extraction or transport,” with a footnote stating “The definition of the Arctic extends to all areas north of the Arctic Circle, including the Arctic Refuge.” –MAPFRE’s Consolidated Annual Report, KPMG assurance reviewed 2/9/22
  • Munich Re (Germany) – “we neither have nor plan to have any business activities (insurance- and investment-wise) both in and around the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (also incl. horizontal drilling).” – 7/28/21
  • Suncorp (Australia) – In 2020, Suncorp declared that the company, “will not directly invest in, finance or underwrite new thermal coal mining projects or electricity generation, or new oil and gas exploration or production.”
  • SCOR (France) – “We recognize the important role of the Gwich’in people in protecting the endangered species and acknowledge the potential ecological harm and attendant disruption to the Gwich’in way of life that would result from new oil and gas projects in the Arctic Refuge. As such, we can confirm that SCOR will not provide (re)insurance or investment support for oil and gas exploration or production projects in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.” – 1/4/21
  • Sompo (Japan) – “…SOMPO will also stop underwriting new policy or investment for tar sands and energy exploration projects in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).” – 5/27/22
  • Swiss Re (Switzerland) – “We can therefore confirm that Swiss Re will abstain from providing re/insurance or investment support for projects related to exploration, production, or transportation of oil and gas in the Arctic Refuge protected area.” – 12/10/20
  • Talanx Group (Germany) –  “…drilling projects in the Arctic Circle are already subject to special consideration and screening by Talanx Group… Any specific arctic drilling project insurance inquiry on single risk basis would be declined. This also includes any new oil and gas drilling projects in the U.S. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a consequence of a new governmental lease sale.” – 7/29/21
  • Zurich (Switzerland) – Committed to “not underwrite oil & gas drilling and production in the Arctic,” where the Arctic is “considered as anything north of 66 degrees latitude with the exception of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS)” – 11/18/21; “Zurich Insurance Group shares your concern for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and we currently do not provide direct coverage for oil and gas projects in that region and we have no plans to insure future developments there.” – 1/29/21

INSURANCE COMPANIES WITHOUT SPECIFIC COMMITMENTS THAT PROTECT THE ARCTIC REFUGE

  • AIG (United States) – On March 1, 2022, AIG became the first major American insurance company to issue policy barring investment and insurance for “any new Arctic energy exploration activities” without clearly defining “Arctic”; AIG must clarify whether or not their policy includes the Arctic Refuge.
  • Aviva (United Kingdom)
  • Chubb (United States)
  • CNA (United States)
  • Liberty Mutual (United States)
  • Lloyd’s (United Kingdom)
  • Markel (United States)
  • QBE (Australia)
  • RLI (United States)
  • The Hartford (United States)
  • Tokio Marine (Japan)
  • Travelers (United States)
  • WR Berkley (United States)

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS WITH POLICY TO PROTECT THE ARCTIC REFUGE

  • ABN AMRO (Netherlands) – “ABN AMRO prohibits direct finance for Arctic oil and gas exploration, production, and supporting services.” Via BankTrack.
  • Bank of America (United States) – “Bank of America Corp. said that it won’t provide project financing for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic after facing opposition from environmentalists.” Via Bloomberg News.
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO Financial Group) (Canada) – “BMO intends to exclude direct finance for exploration and development projects in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). It does not mention infrastructure, the policy is restricted to the ANWR and the bank only expressed its “intention” to exclude project finance.” Via BankTrack.
  • Barclays (United Kingdom) – “Barclays will not directly finance oil and gas projects in the Arctic Circle, including but not limited to the ANWR. Its policy does not mention infrastructure. Barclays does not provide any financing to companies primarily engaged in oil and gas exploration and production operations or plans in the Arctic Circle, including but not limited to the ANWR.” Via BankTrack; see full policy.
  • BBVA (Spain) “BBVA prohibits financing for Arctic oil and gas exploration and production projects. The policy does not prohibit infrastructure like pipelines and terminals. Therefore, the policy does not qualify for a full exclusion.” Via BankTrack.
  • BNP Paribas (France) – “BNP Paribas excludes from its financing and investments activities any financing to oil and gas projects located in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.” In addition, “BNP Paribas only prohibits financing for offshore Arctic oil and gas exploration and production projects, as well as pipelines and LNG terminals related to offshore Arctic oil and gas only.” Via BankTrack; see full policy.
  • CaixaBank (Spain) – “CaixaBank prohibits any project-related financing ‘involving oil and gas exploration or production in the Arctic region.’ This policy does not cover infrastructure in the region.” Via BankTrack.
  • CIBC (Canada) – “CIBC will not directly finance companies that are involved in exploration or development related to oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).” Via BankTrack; see full policy.
  • Citigroup (United States) – “Citigroup does not provide project-related financing for oil and gas exploration and production in the Arctic Circle. Its policy does not mention infrastructure.” Via BankTrack; see full policy.
  • Commerzbank (Germany) – “Commerzbank prohibits project financing related to the extraction of oil and gas in the Arctic. The policy does not mention infrastructure.” Via BankTrack.
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia) – “Commonwealth Bank prohibits project finance for oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic. There is no prohibition on pipelines, LNG terminals in the Arctic, or other infrastructure.” Via BankTrack.
  • Crédit Agricole (France) – “Crédit Agricole prohibits oil projects in the Arctic, but the exclusion does not cover gas. Crédit Agricole prohibits financing to companies whose main activity is linked to oil projects in the Arctic or infrastructure projects mainly dedicated to the transportation of oil produced in the Arctic.” Via BankTrack.
  • Credit Suisse Group (Switzerland) – “Credit Suisse will not finance offshore or onshore oil or gas projects in the Arctic region. This includes upstream exploration, development and production, as well as midstream and downstream operations.” Via BankTrack; see full policy.
  • Deutsche Bank (Germany) – “Deutsche Bank will not finance new oil and gas projects in the Arctic region (Arctic region being defined based on a 10°C July Isotherm boundary, meaning the area does not experience temperatures above 10° C).” Via BankTrack.
  • Goldman Sachs (United States) – “Goldman Sachs prohibits financing for new Arctic oil projects onshore and offshore, including exploration. Financing for gas projects, as well as for infrastructure related to Arctic oil and gas, are not covered by this policy.” Via BankTrack; see full policy.
  • JPMorgan Chase (United States) – “JPMorgan Chase prohibits financing for ‘upstream, midstream or downstream greenfield oil and gas development in the Arctic.’” Via BankTrack.
  • Morgan Stanley (United States) – “Morgan Stanley does not directly finance new oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Its policy does not mention infrastructure.” Via BankTrack.
  • National Australia Bank (Australia) – “NAB prohibits financing for ‘oil and gas projects within or impacting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.’ This is considered a weak exclusion policy.” Via BankTrack.
  • Natixis (France) – BankTrack description: Natixis prohibits direct finance for Arctic oil exploration and production. This does not cover infrastructure.” Via BankTrack.
  • NatWest Group (formerly RBS) (United Kingdom) “RBS’s commitment excludes lending to oil exploration and production projects in the Arctic or Antarctic, but does not cover underwriting such projects, nor does it cover gas in the region.” Via BankTrack.
  • Royal Bank of Canada (Canada) – “RBC will not provide direct financing for any project or transaction that involves exploration or development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). RBC does not mention infrastructure in this policy, and does not rule out financing projects in the rest of the Arctic region.” Via BankTrack
  • Santander (Spain) – “Santander’s prohibition on direct financing for the ‘development, construction or expansion of oil and gas drilling projects north of the Arctic Circle’ includes associated infrastructure.” Via BankTrack; see full policy.
  • Scotiabank (Canada) – Scotiabank prohibits “direct financing or project-specific financial and advisory services for activities that are directly related to the exploration, development or production of oil and gas within the Arctic Circle, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.” Via BankTrack; see full policy.
  • Société Générale (France) – “Société Générale prohibits financing for all Arctic oil exploration and production projects, as well as for ‘infrastructures exclusively dedicated to the transport or storage of […] Arctic oil.’ This policy does not cover Arctic gas. Société Générale prohibits financing for companies that get a majority of their revenue from Arctic oil or have a majority of their reserves in the Arctic region.” Via BankTrack.
  • Standard Chartered (United Kingdom) – “Standard Chartered’s prohibition on direct financing for “new or existing Arctic exploration and/or production activities” also covers Arctic-related infrastructure.” Via BankTrack.
  • TD bank Financial Group (Canada) – “TD will not provide new project-specific financial service for exploration, development, or production of oil and gas within the Arctic Circle. It does not mention infrastructure.” Via BankTrack.
  • UniCredit Group (Italy) – “UniCredit prohibits financing for Arctic oil extraction projects, onshore and offshore, and Arctic offshore gas extraction projects only, as well as “pipelines and other infrastructure SOLELY related” to onshore and offshore Arctic oil or offshore Arctic gas. UniCredit requires new and existing clients to get ≤25% of their revenue from onshore and offshore Arctic oil and/or offshore Arctic gas. For existing clients above that threshold, they must have a plan to get below that threshold, to be evaluated annually.” Via BankTrack.
  • Wells Fargo (United States) “Wells Fargo prohibits direct financing of ‘oil and gas projects in the Arctic region, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,’ without further specificity on what that covers.” Via BankTrack.
  • Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia) – “Westpac does not provide project finance for oil and gas exploration in high risk frontier basins such as Arctic and Antarctic refuges. Only exploration mentioned in its policy.” Via BankTrack; see full policy.

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS WITH NO POLICY TO PROTECT THE ARCTIC REFUGE

  • ANZ Bank (Australia)
  • HSBC (United Kingdom)*
  • ING (Netherlands)*
  • Intesa Sanpaolo (Italy)
  • Mizuho (Japan)
  • MUFG (Japan)
  • Nordea Bank (Finland)
  • Société Générale (France)*
  • SMBC (Japan)
  • UBS (Switzerland)*
*These banks have Arctic policies that currently do not cover the Arctic Refuge and should be strengthened.

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