AIA becomes the first major Asian insurer to end coal exposure

Hong Kong-based insurance giant AIA Group has sold off its $10 billion portfolio of coal investments, becoming the first major Asian insurer to end its exposure to coal, Fortune reports.

In March this year, AIA—Asia’s largest publicly listed life insurance group valued at $127 billion—said it would completely divest from its equity exposure to coal mining and coal-fired power businesses by the end of 2021, and fixed-income exposure to the same by 2028.

Yet the company announced in an official statement on Tuesday that it had sold off all of its fixed-income—and equity—coal holdings in October, seven years ahead of schedule.

The insurance company will also make “no new investments in businesses directly involved in coal mining or generating electricity from coal,” it said in the same release.

AIA says it will incorporate the United Nations-backed Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)—best practices in emissions reductions and net-zero targets—into its $286 billion investment portfolio.

The company expects to invest more in “green, social, and sustainability bonds and renewable power,” an AIA spokesperson told Fortune. AIA’s green bond investments jumped to $1.1 billion at the end of 2020 from $575 million at the end of 2018.

To recap, in November, China imported a record amount of coal in 2021.

Tags: coal mining, coal, Asia, TPP, electricity market, investments, ecology, decarbonisation, infrastructure

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