June 19, 2024

Swiss Re Faces Backlash Over Alleged Insurance Involvement in Brazilian Deforestation

Between 2016 and 2022, the insurance group reportedly obtained nineteen policies, according to a new revelation.

Public Eye, a non-governmental organisation focused on sustainability, has discovered that Swiss Re, an insurance business headquartered in Zurich, acquired a minimum of nineteen policies covering expansive farms that have been adjudicated by authorities as having engaged in illicit deforestation. This coverage extended from 2016 to 2022.

Swiss Re allegedly benefited from insurance contracts written on these unlawfully deforested Brazilian lands, according to a report produced by the investigative organisation Repórter Brazil. Swiss Re was placed fourth last year for agricultural contracts negotiated as part of a state subsidy programme, according to the data it gathered.

A total of 659,000 hectares were covered by the programme. The (re)insurance organisation has taken out 17 policies on Manto Verde, a 2,400-hectare property, since 2016. But the authorities had long since designated Manto Verde as a restricted area because of the illegal cutting down of trees there.

A client of Swiss Re’s was a defendant in a murder case when he took out three insurance policies, and Repórter Brazil found evidence that the company had entered into insurance contracts with farms that engaged in armed violence and illegal cultivation of indigenous protected areas. The use of slave labour on a client’s coffee plantation was supposedly the subject of an investigation.

Aiming to neutralise its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 was stated in last year’s sustainability report by Swiss Re. Observatório do Clima, on the other hand, said that Swiss Re had disregarded its climate policy responsibilities in its dealings with Brazil, despite the fact that Japan had lower total emissions from deforestation in 2021.

Public Eye’s Investigation Award funded Repórter Brazil’s research into Swiss companies’ business dealings in developing nations, which may involve human rights abuses, environmental destruction, or financial crimes. The award was meant to assist media professionals and NGOs in their investigations.

France Júnior, André Campos, Naira Hofmeister, Gil Alessi, Ruy Sposati, Carolina Motoki, and Bruna Bronoski were the authors of the report.

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One thought on “Swiss Re Faces Backlash Over Alleged Insurance Involvement in Brazilian Deforestation

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