UNEP reveals new insurance net-zero forum as NZIA discontinued

The Forum for Insurance Transition to Net Zero (FIT) has been announced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which reportedly considers the experience gained with the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), which has been discontinued from today after suffering numerous issues and subsequent departures in 2023.

FIT is a new UN-led and convened structured dialogue and multi-stakeholder forum, designed to “support the necessary acceleration and scaling up of voluntary climate action by the insurance industry and key stakeholders.”

UNEP describes the new forum as a major opportunity for itself, the insurance sector and key stakeholders to support and accelerate the transition to a net-zero emissions economy.

FIT will work with insurers, reinsurers, and brokers and also engage with regulators and supervisors, net-zero standard-setters and initiatives, the scientific and academic community, civil society, and other key stakeholders, to advance net-zero insurance thinking and practices globally.

Initially, FIT will focus on advancing frameworks for net-zero insurance metrics and voluntary targets, and developing new net-zero insurance concepts. The forum will also prioritise the development of a net-zero transition plan framework for insurance market participants, and will engage with the real economy on the development of net-zero transition plans by corporates across different sectors.

Another priority of FIT is to address challenges and opportunities to develop insurance solutions and taxonomies that would support the net-zero transition.

“The aim is to foster availability of insurance and finance for transition projects and technologies and net-zero activities,” says UNEP.

Founding members of FIT include the following 19 insurers and reinsurers from around the world: Achmea, African Risk Capacity, a.s.r., Aviva, Beazley, CNP Assurances, Co-operators, Credit Agricole Assurances, FATUM, Fidelidade, Generali, IAG, Intesa Sanpaolo Vita, NamibRe, NN Group, Odeon Insurance Re, Singapore Life, Sonepar International Re, and The Fidelis Partnership.

“The FIT will seek input on its activities from two separate consultative groups that are independent of each other—one group made up of insurance regulatory and supervisory authorities; the other group made up of academic, research and civil society organisations. It is anticipated that the outputs of the FIT will be made publicly available,” explains UNEP.

Founding members of the FIT’s Consultative Group of Insurance Regulators & Supervisors (CGIRS) comprise 16 insurance regulatory and supervisory authorities from all regions. UNEP also reveals that founding members of the FIT’s Consultative Group on Science, Research & Civil Society (CGSRC) comprise 11 renowned academic institutions and civil society organisations from different regions.

Further, the FIT’s legal team comprises experts on antitrust and competition laws, sustainability, insurance and finance, among other core areas of expertise, from three global law firms.

“Overall, the FIT is kickstarting its work with a critical mass and diverse group of 46 organisations from across the globe. It is expected that more organisations worldwide will join the FIT in the coming months as it becomes fully operational.

“As part of this evolution in UNEP’s work with the global insurance industry and key stakeholders, the NZIA will be discontinued effective 25 April 2024,” says UNEP.

The NZIA was launched at the G20 Climate Summit in Venice in 2021, but after concerns were raised over whether antitrust related issues could emerge as the market advances its net-zero agenda, in the face of US lawmakers that pushed back on some ESG initiatives, founders of the NZIA and participants withdrew.

“Through the FIT, UNEP will deepen and strengthen its commitment to work with the global insurance industry and key stakeholders to support the acceleration and scaling up of the transition to a net-zero economy, as part of the solution to the global climate crisis and the vision of a resilient, sustainable, and prosperous future for all,” says UNEP.

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