AIG’s moment of truth in the Adani Project
The All Blacks are the world’s most successful rugby team and a symbol of New Zealand’s national pride. They are also a favourite with the bookies to win this year’s World Cup which starts on Friday. Since 2012 the team’s main sponsor has been US insurer AIG.
AIG is one of the few large insurance companies which continue to cover the construction of coal projects. According to the Australian Financial Review (AFR), the insurer is providing groundworks and directors & officers (D&O) insurance for the Adani Group’s gigantic proposed Carmichael coal mine in Australia.
The Adani Group is currently trying to arrange cover for the construction of the multi-billion dollar project and to renew the D&O policy for its Australian subsidiary by the end of September. The AFR reports that AIG’s head office has spoken out against renewing the D&O contract. Yet even after receiving a petition from SumOfUs signed by 135,000 people, AIG has so far not excluded insuring Adani Australia or the Carmichael Project.
According to a recent opinion poll, 79% of all New Zealanders are worried about climate change. The All Blacks perform the Haka, a traditional Maori war dance, before each game and several of their players are of Pacific islander heritage. How will they feel if their sponsor props up a gigantic carbon bomb that will bring yet more destruction to the Pacific islands?
Earlier this week, climate campaigners of 350 Aotearoa launched a petition calling on the All Blacks to “drop AIG until AIG drops Adani”. As the team seeks its fourth World Cup title, the US insurer will create a major embarrassment if it gets caught red-handed in the Adani Project. Will AIG see the signs of the time and publicly rule out support for the mine and its developer?