Trans Mountain is a risky undertaking for insurance companies, and they know it
Trans Mountain has applied to the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) requesting they keep the names of their insurers secret, arguing that public pressure makes it more expensive and harder to insure the project. Tsleil-Waututh submitted a letter of comment to the CER opposing Trans Mountain’s request, which would remove one layer of transparency from a company with a culture of secrecy. Hiding information is never a good look for a publicly-owned project and it goes against the CER’s fundamental principles of transparency and accountability required to protect the public interest.
Tsleil-Waututh has used this information to communicate directly with businesses operating in our territory. Indigenous rights, including TWN’s decision to reject the project following our own extensive impact assessment, is one reason insurers are reluctant to cover the project, but the cost of climate change is also a significant factor that cannot be ignored. Climate-related weather events cost Canadian insurance companies $2.4 billion in 2020 alone. It makes business sense for insurers to stop investing in projects like pipelines that contribute to climate change. Fires and floods from climate change are costly. The Trans Mountain pipeline travels across 1000km of challenging terrain through British Columbia. The increased risk of flooding and slope failure from the changing climate regime results in increased risk to infrastructure and of oil spills. Combined with Trans Mountains history of 85 reported spills and multiple accidents, the Trans Mountain pipeline and its expansion are risky undertakings for insurers, and they know it. Read our letter to the CER here.