Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. said Thursday it will halt in principle underwriting new insurance policies and extending fresh loans for coal mine development projects from October, becoming the first Japanese nonlife insurer to do so.

The move will target fuel coal that is mainly used for electricity generation, and not raw coal used to produce iron and steel, therefore only affecting coal-fired power plants.

In Japan, there are already nonlife insurers that have stopped underwriting insurance policies for new coal-fired power plants, but Tokio Marine is the first to take another step forward and halt investment in coal mining.

Tokio Marine, however, said it will continue with existing cases and it may still provide insurance for coal mine development projects that produce coal for power plants capable of curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

The insurer said it has decided on the policy in line with moves in Europe and the United States to divest from coal mine development in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.

In a similar move, Japanese financial institutions such as Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. have also announced their policy of divesting from coal-fired power plant projects.

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