PZU continues to insure new and illegally lignite mines e.g., the Turów opencast mine, which in accordance with decision of the vice president of the TSUE should cease production from 21 May 2021. TUW PZUW, which belongs to PZU Group, also insures Bełchatów lignite mine and all large coal-fired power plants in Poland, including Bełchatów and Turów. Social organizations consider this as scandal and have sent an appeal to PZU management.
On 9 June 2021 the Foundation “Development YES – Open Pit Mines NO”, Akcja Demokracja (Action Democracy) and Parents for Future shared an appeal addressed to the board of PZU SA. The signatories of the appeal call on the insurer to publish an investment and insurance strategy that is consistent with the current scientific knowledge, the requirements of the Paris Agreement and the climate goals of the EU.
“It is a scandal that in the face of the growing climate crisis, Poland’s largest insurer, PZU, has no policy to move away from insuring coal! In the strategy presented this year the company says that it cares about what is the most important in life. This is hypocrisy. We are launching this campaign to inform the CEO and the board of PZU that the most important thing in life is life itself, and the fact that PZU have not a strategy to move away from coal is a direct threat to our future. Huge public pressure has caused that all of the world’s largest insurers move away from insuring coal. We will make PZU join them,” points out Piotr Antoniewicz, Deputy Campaign Manager at Akcja Demokracja.
The appeal is a clear sign that public awareness about financing and insuring investments that contribute to the climate crisis is growing. The world’s largest insurance companies are aware of this and are declaring that they are abandoning their investments in the coal sector. They announce the dates of termination of insurance and sale of all assets connected with coal sector. PZU is still not following global trends. This attitude evokes increasing resentment and will contribute to a decline in customer numbers.
“As a mother, I am appalled by the way PZU is using our resources. It continues to insure coal mines and power plants such as Bełchatów and Turów, which are among the largest polluters in Europe and are systematically contributing to climate catastrophe. I already know that our decisions, also when it comes to choosing an insurer, are very important, and each of us, knowing about PZU’s passivity towards climate change, can make the right choice,” comments Dorota Herman from the Parents For Future.
“We cannot agree to the fact that our children and subsequent generations’ future, health and life will be excluded by PZU and will be less important than temporary guarantees for the development and operation of the mine,” adds Marzena Wichniarz from Parents For Future.
PZU still has time to make a responsible decision. The PZU S.A. general meeting of shareholders, which will be held on 16.06.2021, is an excellent opportunity for the company’s management board to confirm ending of insuring coal mines and power plants that destroy our health, pollute our water and air.
“For the sake of millions of customers and small and medium-sized companies, PZU should move away from coal and stop insuring companies in the fossil fuel sector, giving up short-term profits to increase the long-term security of its customers,” comments Kuba Gogolewski, financial campaigner at the “Development YES – Open Pit Mines NO” Foundation, “Steps in this direction have already been taken by all other large insurance companies in Europe, and the lack of policy in this area as well as insuring power plants and coal mines such as Turów or Bełchatów, makes PZU a climate black sheep.”