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Net-Zero Insurers Uncover New Climate Adversary in Antitrust Law

Heeding advice from lawyers, the industry scrapped a proposed commitment to phase out coal insurance.

  

  

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

A group of the world's biggest insurers and reinsurers jointly pledging to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from their underwriting activities have run into an unexpected opponent of their planet-friendly mission: competition law.

The Net Zero Insurance Alliance, which counts Axa SA, Allianz SE and Swiss Re AG among its members, has purposely limited the scope of its collaboration to avoid potential violations of antitrust rules, said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing non-public information. A proposal to include a commitment to exit coal insurance as part of the terms of group membership was scrapped following advice from attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright, one of the people said.