A global framework
for responsible marine insurance
The Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance create common global baselines that are consistent with and supportive of society’s goals to better enable insurers to assess and align their portfolios with responsible environmental impacts.
The Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance are a global framework for assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of insurers’ hull and machinery portfolios. They enable the insurance sector to implement transparency and they establish a common, global baseline to quantitatively assess and disclose the climate alignment of the portfolios, in order to assess the environmental and climate impact of the business decisions. Thus they also serve as an important tool to support responsible decision-making.
The Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance must be applied by Signatories in all business activities where:
- the insurance products cover hull and machinery (H&M);
- the Signatory is the leading insurer, as well as in cases where the Signatory is a follower, but the lead is also a fellow Signatory;
- a vessel or vessels which have an established Poseidon Principles trajectory whereby the carbon intensity can be measured with IMO Data Collection System (DCS) data.
Climate alignment is currently the only environmental factor considered by the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance
Under the current scope, the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance are applicable to insurers with H&M policies and underwriters. However, it is recognized that the ecosystem of key players extends beyond this limit, and the framework must be inclusive of these perspectives and their support. Therefore, Affiliate membership is applicable to insurance brokers and collective groups (such as insurance associations, unions, and P&I Clubs), and their support is welcome.
Signatories commit to implementing the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance in their policies, procedures, and standards and to work in partnership with their clients and partners on an ongoing basis to implement the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance. Affiliate members commit to supporting the Signatories and working together with their partners and clients to improve transparency across their business activities.
The Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance are intended to evolve over time to ensure that they are effective, practical, and up to date to reflect society’s goals.
The Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance are part of three initiatives based on the same four Principles and developed by the Global Maritime Forum with the shared aim to decarbonize shipping.
It all started with the Poseidon Principles for Financial Institutions – a global framework for responsible ship finance launched in June 2019. With 30 Signatories, this initiative currently represents around USD 185 billion in shipping finance.
During the very early stages of the Poseidon Principles for Financial Institutions, some charterers, who were part of the drafting group, voiced the need for a transparent process for reporting emissions relating to chartering activities. This is how the Sea Cargo Charter was launched in October 2020. The Sea Cargo Charter provides a global framework for aligning chartering activities with responsible environmental behavior to promote international shipping’s decarbonization. The climate-alignment scores for this initiative had been published for the first time in June 2022. See the report here.
The Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance is the most recent initiative that was launched in December 2021, gathering a group of marine insurance institutions committed to aligning their portfolios with responsible environmental impacts.
All three initiatives are aligned with the IMO’s ambition for GHG emissions from international shipping to peak as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008. Furthermore, the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance have also chosen to take steps toward alignment with the Paris Agreement by providing a 100% CO2 reduction trajectory.