We joined the Insure our Future campaign back in October 2019, and since then Liberty Mutual has already responded by limiting coal insurance and investing. However, the Boston-based insurer continues to be a huge backer of the tar sands oil sector. The tar sands (also known as oil sands) of Alberta, Canada are infamously toxic and carbon-intensive oil reserves that exist within the traditional territories of Cree, Metis and Dene peoples. From extraction to transport to refining, tar sands oil poses an existential threat to the fight to address climate change.
Keystone XL and Liberty Mutual
The tar sands (also known as oil sands) of Alberta, Canada are infamously toxic and carbon-intensive oil reserves that exist within the traditional territories of Cree, Metis and Dene peoples. From extraction to transport to refining, tar sands oil poses an existential threat to the fight to address climate change.
Liberty Mutual is providing key financial coverage to TC Energy to build the Keystone XL pipeline via a $15.6 million bond to cover risks related to the pre-construction of the project through South Dakota. TC Energy is expecting for Liberty Mutual to provide a second bond once primary construction begins.
Keystone XL would carry tar sands from Alberta, Canada down to the U.S. Gulf Coast, with no consent from impacted Indigenous nations along its route. If Liberty Mutual is providing these bonds, it’s likely that it is also providing crucial insurance coverage to TC Energy and the pipeline itself and facilitating the expansion of tar sands.
As a top fossil fuel insurer with at least $8.9 billion invested in fossil fuel companies, Liberty Mutual is complicit in the destruction of waterways and sacred land.
Tar sands oil is one of the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fuels on the planet, and its extraction has already contaminated the drinking water and food of First Nations in Canada and unleashed massive amounts of carbon pollution.
Stop Insuring Trans Mountain Pipeline
Tar sands extraction has already devastated the Boreal ecosystem which is key to maintaining a stable global climate. It is essential that new pipelines are not allowed to be built which would not only allow existing tar sands projects to expand, but puts communities and ecosystems at risk of spills.
The Trans Mountain pipeline does not have the consent of the Secwepemc people, whose unceded territory, Secwepemcul’ecw, covers more than half of the proposed pipeline project and route. Amidst the coronavirus crisis Indigenous youth and women have been forced to take direct action to assert their inherent rights to consultation on projects that impact their lives and future generations. Increased construction not only brings environmental devastation, with man camps also comes increased sexual violence against Indigenous women.
Liberty Mutual must understand that “No Means No” and any underwriting of projects which violate Indigenous rights must halt immediately. Insurance providers such as Zurich caved to international pressure and dropped the Trans Mountain Pipeline project in July 2020, Liberty Mutual must follow suit.
All tar sands projects need one thing: insurance coverage.
Without insurance, new tar sands mines, pipelines, and refineries cannot be built, and existing projects cannot continue to operate. Last winter, Liberty Mutual adopted a policy limiting its business with coal, but it continues to insure the tar sands with no end in sight.
Insuring Our Future
In the last few years we have seen incredible momentum across the financial and insurance sector to divest and cease underwriting coal and tar sands. The numbers and the science are clear to climate activists and economists alike, highly polluting fossil fuels have no place in a viable future.
The insurance industry is in a unique position to pull the plug on the money pipeline to the most destructive projects on the planet and to stand alongside Indigenous communities at this pivotal moment in history, take action now & help them make the right decision!
Originally published by Indigenous Environmental Network: Source