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Jan 2022

Japan: Life insurers collaborate to support action on climate change

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Nov 2021

Four Japanese life insurance companies have come together to support climate finance for developing countries. These life insurers have invested in 15-year green bonds issued by the World Bank to support the financing of climate projects in developing nations.
 
A press release issued by World Bank said, “This is the first time Japanese life insurance companies have come together to invest in green bonds to show their collective support for the urgency of climate action. The life insurers are The Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance, Nippon Life Insurance and Sumitomo Life Insurance.”
 
World Bank issued two 15-year green bonds – an A$274m ($200m) and NZ$241m ($167m), both due September 2036.
 
World Bank vice president and treasurer Jingdong Hua said, “Private investors play a critical role in channelling needed resources to World Bank member countries as they work to reduce emissions and build greener and more resilient communities and economies. We are grateful to Japanese life insurance companies for coming together to show their support for climate finance in developing countries.”
 
The Dai-ichi Life Insurance executive officer and chief general manager (investments) Kazuyuki Shigemoto said, “As a responsible institutional investor, we will continue to actively engage in ESG investment to contribute to realising a sustainable society as well as to improve investment returns through sophisticated and diverse investment methods.”
 
Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance director and managing executive officer Takehiko Watabe said, “Fukoku Life has endeavoured to support sustainable growth of society and the environment amid climate change via ESG investments. We believe this investment helps us achieve not only a financial benefit but also contribute positively to society in line with our company philosophy.”
 
Nippon Life Insurance director and chief investment officer Akiko Osawa said, “Responding to climate change is an urgent issue on a global scale and there is increasing international momentum toward the implementation of climate change countermeasures ahead of COP26. We will further enhance asset management that realises profitability, security and the public good, which we have been working on since our founding, from a medium- to long-term perspective, taking into account ESG perspectives.”
 
Sumitomo Life Insurance managing executive officer Iwao Matsumoto said, “Sumitomo Life decided to invest in this bond in support of the World Bank’s efforts to mitigate climate change, which is an urgent and global issue for everyone. We expect that the investment will support the financing of decarbonisation and environmentally friendly projects in developing countries.” A 
 
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