Generali has scrapped its coal insurance offering for the constructing coal plants and mines in a bid to create a lower carbon economy.

At the same time, the insurer stopped accepting coal companies as new clients.

However, the caveat is that the insurer will continue to insure the retrofitting of coal plants of existing clients.

The move comes before the United Nations’ climate change conference in Poland, which is scheduled to take place in December this year.

Similar coal insurance moves have been previously taken by AXA, Scor, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance.

Generali’s decision has been welcomed by campaign groups Unfriend Coal and Greenpeace Italy.

Unfriend Coal campaign European coordinator Lucie Pinson said: “Generali’s move shows that coal is increasingly becoming uninsurable.”

In February this year, Generali announced plans to increase investments in sustainable projects by €3.5bn.

In addition, it announced plans to reduce exposure to the coal sector. Generali said that in order to fulfil this strategy, it would offload equity investments and eliminate bond investments by bringing them to maturity or selling them before maturity.

Greenpeace Italy climate campaigner Luca Iacoboni said: “With its new coal exclusion policy Generali sent an an important signal today: Coal is becoming uninsurable and should make room for the urgent energy transition towards 100% renewable energy.

“It is not just a matter of securing the survival of our planet, but of the insurance industry as well. Even Moody’s Investor Service warned that climate change has a net negative credit impact on the the re/insurance industry.”