Insurance companies that have long said they'll cover anything, at the right price, are increasingly ruling out fossil fuel projects because of climate change — to cheers from environmental campaigners.

More than a dozen groups that track what policies insurers have on high-emissions activities say the industry is turning its back on oil, gas and coal.

The alliance, Insure Our Future, said Wednesday that 62% of reinsurance companies — which help other insurers spread their risks — have plans to stop covering coal projects, while 38% are now excluding some oil and natural gas projects.

In part, investors are demanding it. But insurers have also begun to make the link between fossil fuel infrastructure, such as mines and pipelines, and the impact that greenhouse gas emissions are having on other parts of their business.

This includes extreme weather events such as hurricanes, which are forecast to become more potent with global warming. Hurricane Ian recently caused tens of billions of dollars in damage in the United States.

Earlier this month Munich Re, one of the world’s biggest reinsurers, said it would stop backing new oil and gas fields beginning next April.

“Insurance is the Achilles heel of the fossil fuel industry and has the power to accelerate the transition to clean energy," said Peter Bosshard, the report's author.

That's because projects that require large amounts of capital are unlikely to attract investment if they can't get insurance to cover potentially costly mishaps.

Insure Our Future said its annual scorecard of 30 companies ranked Allianz, AXA and Axis Capital best for their coal exit policies, while Aviva, Hannover Re and Munich Re came out on top for oil and natural gas.

Some risks too big: #Insurers withdraw from fossil projects. #ClimateChange #FossilFuel

By contrast, some insurers such as Berkshire Hathaway, Starr and Everest Re have adopted few or no restrictions coal, oil or gas projects, it said. The alliance also criticized Lloyd’s of London for announcing plans for ending coal coverage two years ago but then declaring it optional.

Many of the insurers reviewed introduced their restrictions in the last year, though the exact policies differ significantly, the report said.

Some countries have meanwhile proposed applying the idea of insurance to help countries facing massive costs due to climate change.

Germany, which chairs the Group of Seven leading economies, and the V20 alliance of vulnerable nations, chaired by Ghana, last week agreed to promote the idea of a “global shield” against climate risks.

The proposal, to be discussed at next month's United Nations climate summit in Egypt, partly addresses demands from poor countries for more financial help to cope with the loss and damage resulting from rising global temperatures.

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Insurers were some of the first corporations to start dumping on fossil fuels. These are not radical lefty enviros, but business suits who have simply done the math and calculated risk. Yet their action has had a massive positive impact on the fight against climate change.

Note very carefully that their policies do not stem from activism or politics, but from economics. As we move deeper into adaptation, I am pretty convinced that this is the field that will make the biggest difference, not through laggard talking heads known as "leaders" or otherwise well-meaning youth naively creating a hazard by blocking freeway traffic.

Author Vaclav Smil's book 'Numbers Don't Lie' portrays a meme that reinsurers have practiced all along with respect to protecting both clients and the public from harm. Smil's latest book carries the title 'How the World Really Works: A Scientist's Guide to Our Past, Present and Future' (2022). It's worth a read, if anything for poking a sharp stick into delusional balloons on all fronts.