Early on June 16, 20 protesters held up four long banners outside the offices of Marsh Insurance at Barangaroo to protest the company’s contracts with the Adani coal mine in Queensland. Marsh Insurers occupy the 19th floor.
The banners read: “Marsh insurance has a new climate policy”; “Marsh have you dumped Adani’s coal mine yet?”; “Is it Greenwash Marsh?”, and “Marsh tell us now”.
Four global insurers have agreed to underwrite work on the Adani coal mine, which will produce 60 million tonnes of coal annually. Approval for Adani’s coal mine will pave the way for further coal mines in the huge Galilee Basin.
Leaked invoices obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald revealed on June 11 that Marsh Insurance Brokers has agreed to cover work on the Adani coal mine, along with Liberty International Underwriters, HDI and XL Australia. They charged Adani for policies covering construction work for the mine and rail project last November, while insurance giant Aspen Re covered work in January.
A Marsh McLennan employee, frustrated with the company’s lack of transparency, leaked the invoices on condition of anonymity.
Marsh has reportedly been working with Adani since 2015 and, like other companies, has been the target of protesters’ pressure, given coal’s contribution to the climate crisis.
“It’s kept under lock and key. Colleagues are finding out about Marsh’s affiliation via the protests and articles in the news,” the whistleblower said.
At its annual general meeting in May in New York, the company’s parent group, Marsh & McLennan, released a one page “client engagement principles” document. It said the firm was committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on climate change. Stop Adani has labelled the document “greenwash”.