Press Release

AIG is first American insurer to reject Arctic drilling

Snowy mountains in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Mason Cummings, TWS

AIG's policy against insuring Arctic oil development is positive step

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA (March 1, 2022) – Facing the climate crisis and increasing pressure on corporations to act responsibly, global insurance giant AIG today became the first U.S.-based insurer to announce a policy against covering oil and gas development projects in the Arctic, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, as part of the company’s effort to  “achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its global underwriting and investment portfolios by 2050, or sooner.”

In response to AIG’s announcement, The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from Alaska State Director Karlin Itchoak:

“This is a significant milestone in efforts to address the climate emergency and protect the sacred calving grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd in America’s last great wild place—the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—which has been stewarded by Indigenous Iñupiat and Gwich’in peoples since time immemorial.

“The Arctic is ground zero for climate change, and I hope more American insurance companies will see the wisdom in AIG's sound risk-management decision and conclude that the risks are too high to underwrite fossil fuel development in the Arctic.”

Multiple insurance companies around the world have announced they will not insure Arctic or Arctic Refuge drilling. Meanwhile, every major bank in America—Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup—has publicly vowed to not finance new oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge because they recognize the urgency of our climate crisis and the need to shift future investments to alternative forms of energy. Canada’s five largest banks have done the same.

Permafrost in the Arctic Refuge—where the climate is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world-- is an effective storage container for carbon, at risk of release as temperatures continue to warm and permafrost continues to thaw. Drilling for oil on this sensitive landscape would compound devastating climate impacts, allowing for the exposure of carbon emissions, worsening climate pollution, and harming communities already bearing the brunt of a changing climate.


The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization uniting people to care for America’s wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 111 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.