School Strikers urge AIG not to insure Adani, fossil fuel projects

Castlemaine School Striker 15 year old Harriet O'Shea Carre will be in New York for the UN Climate Summit this month and is seeking a meeting with the the CEO of global insurer AIG Brian Duperreault, to urge them not to insure fossil fuel projects like Adani's mega mine that will fuel the climate crisis. Here is her letter requesting a meeting.

Dear Brian Duperreault,

I am writing to request a meeting with you to discuss AIG’s role as an insurer for fossil fuel projects, specifically the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

My name is Harriet, and I live in Castlemaine, Victoria. Last year I, along with two of my friends, started the School Strike for Climate Action movement in Australia. Alongside tens of thousands of fellow young people across Australia, I have been calling on the government to stand up for our futures and take real climate action, including stopping the construction of Adani’s massive coal mine.

Since we started striking, the government has approved key permits for the project, but I know that the mine can’t move forward without insurance coverage. I was disappointed to learn recently that AIG is insuring the Adani Carmichael coal mine, and providing other insurance for Adani the company.

There are already so many solutions to climate change but our politicians and financial institutions aren’t doing enough to put them in place. Instead, they are approving and funding massive new coal mines, such as Adani’s, that will wreck our future. As children, we are going to be living in this hot world far longer than the adults who are making these decisions for us, and our future cannot be one that is powered by coal and other fossil fuels.

As an insurer, AIG should be particularly aware, through your research and business, of the huge risks that climate change brings to our planet and society. I hope that the Board of Directors of AIG would feel an ethical responsibility to not support the expansion of the coal industry.

The science also makes it clear. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agreed in its report on 1.5ºC that no new coal can be built, and existing coal must be phased out, as coal is one of the biggest historical contributors to the global catastrophe we are facing now.

I will be attending the first ever United Nations Youth Climate Summit in NYC on September 21, joining other young leaders who are driving climate action from around the world. The UN Secretary General has called this Summit, in his words, as a chance for young people to “meaningfully engage with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time,” and I would like to take the opportunity to do so with AIG at a Senior Executive and Board Level. This means so much to me because the fossil fuel industry is destroying our planet, and the lives of so many underrepresented people, and it just cannot continue. I understand that as a child, my opinion may not matter to you a whole awful lot, so I want you to know that even though I am only small, I represent thousands of other people, and I hope that you can think of my, and all the other youths, future before insuring the Adani mine.

I am available to meet with you or other members of AIG in NYC anytime on Wednesday, September 18 or Thursday, September 19, 2019. I look forward to hearing from you to schedule a meeting.

Thank you sincerely, please help us, Harriet

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