September 2018

New Research
Assessing Risks and Opportunities for Insurance in a Changing Climate  

Climate change presents a wide range of risks to California's insurance industry, as Californians across the state contend with unprecedented wildfires, changing storm patterns, increased risks of flooding and sea level rise, and disruptions to business from agriculture to fisheries and beyond. Potential decarbonization of the economy and litigation based on climate-related damages further threaten the insurance business model. The industry faces these dynamic challenges at the same time that insurance products are becoming more necessary but less available and affordable.

To tackle these issues, the California Department of Insurance (CDI), under theleadership of Commissioner Dave Jones, has spearheaded efforts to drive insurers to disclose climate risks, divest of fossil fuel-related investments, and maintain the availability and affordability of insurance in vulnerable areas.

Our new report , co-authored with CDI and Dr. Evan Mills of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, documents the nature and extent of the risks faced by insurers and residents in California and offers a range of recommendations to protect the industry and the entire state. Trial by Fire: Managing Climate Risks Facing Insurers in the Golden State includes detailed discussions of CDI's landmark efforts to date; physical, transition, and liability risks; challenges to insurance affordability, adequacy, and availability; the opportunities presented by "green" insurance products; potential legislative and policy reforms; and solutions for industry, regulators, and consumers to preserve a viable insurance industry in a changing climate.

Access the report here or contact Ted Lamm  for more information.


Today in  Water Deeply, CLEE's Nell Green Nylen and Mike Kiparsky  discuss the obstacles faced by small water systems, and vital factors that must be considered as policymakers lay the groundwork for overcoming them. A range of actions that fall under the umbrella of "water system consolidation" can increase access to safe, affordable drinking water. As state policymakers develop new policies intended to facilitate consolidation, it is imperative that they maintain flexibility to find workable local and regional solutions that address the needs of vulnerable communities. It is the best way to help California achieve a future with reliable access to clean water for all. 

See today's op-ed in Water Deeply, read CLEE's workshop synthesis on small water system consolidations here, or contact Nell Green Nylen for more information. 

CLEE at the Global Climate Action Summit  (Sept. 11-14)

This week thousands of climate experts will arrive in the Bay Area to discuss the critical steps we need to take to address climate change globally. CLEE is proud to be taking part in two programs focused on key issues we're actively working on. We hope to see you there!   

Tuesday, Sept 11, 2:00-5:00pm

How can subnational governments leverage the coming "3 Revolutions" in shared, electric, and automated transportation to meet climate goals? CLEE is co-hosting a session on this topic as an affiliate event at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this week. Transportation technologies are evolving rapidly, and the course of their evolution will determine whether greenhouse gas emissions dramatically increase or drop as a result. This event will empower states, regions, and cities with policy tools needed to harness these revolutions to reduce climate emission. It will be immediately followed by an evening reception

Wednesday, Sept 12, 1:00-3:00pm

CLEE will release a new report this Wednesday on policy pathways to achieve 100% zero-emission vehicle sales in California. We will present "100% Zero" with free hard copies available at the climate summit affiliate event Gas/Diesel Car Phaseouts: Global Strategy to End Gasoline Use. This free event with registration  is organized by the Sierra Club and Coltura.

Faculty + Staff
In the News
Prof Holly Doremus discusses water pollution flowing from Tijuana to San Diego and the extent to which this can be considered a Clean Water Act violation in the Los Angeles Times

Ethan Elkind joins KQED Forum to discuss EPA's proposal to loosen automobile emissions standards and revoke California's waiver under the Clean Air Act.  

Blogging in Legal Planet, Prof Eric Biber considers efforts to bolster California's environmental policies to combat the potential for federal rollback, what he calls "Trump insurance."
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