Berkeley Law is pleased to announce that former California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has joined the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE). Jones' work will focus on the risks posed by climate change to the insurance and other financial sectors and how public policy can help these sectors better identify, evaluate, and address that risk. He will also examine the role that the financial sector can play in aligning capital with the Paris Agreement and the role of financial regulators in addressing climate related risks. In addition to his position with CLEE, Jones has also been appointed a Distinguished Fellow with the ClimateWorks Foundation and the Senior Director for Environmental and Social Risk with The Nature Conservancy.
"We are delighted that Dave Jones is bringing his expertise in these crucial regulatory and legal matters to Berkeley Law. He has been a pioneer in California government, and we look forward to his continuing efforts to transition the financial sector to a low-risk, sustainable future as part of Berkeley's Center for Law, Energy and the Environment," said Dean Erwin Chemerinsky.
Jones comes to CLEE after two successful terms as Insurance Commissioner, highlighted by his pioneering efforts to address climate change and the risks it poses to the insurance sector. Under his leadership, the Department of Insurance launched the Climate Risk Carbon Initiative, a first-of-its-kind effort requiring major insurers to disclose their fossil fuel investments and requesting that they divest from thermal coal enterprises. Jones additionally spearheaded groundbreaking climate risk scenario analyses of insurers' investment portfolios to assess the potential exposure to climate change related risks of trillions of dollars of insurer investments. Jones was also founding Chairperson of the Sustainable Insurance Forum, a working group of insurance regulators from across the globe developing best supervisory practices to address climate risk.
"As we are experiencing now the very real and damaging impacts of climate change in California and elsewhere, I look forward to drawing on my experience with the insurance sector and climate-related risks to continue to develop effective public policy and private sector options for decision-makers from around the globe and here in California," Jones said.
Jones' tenure as Insurance Commissioner coincided with the unprecedented destruction from the 2015, 2017, and 2018 California wildfires, which resulted in record levels of deaths, destruction, insurance claims, and challenges for California residents, businesses, and insurers alike. In response, his office developed and helped shepherd to passage a suite of insurance industry reform legislation in 2018 designed to increase consumer protections and resiliency. He also collaborated with CLEE on the September 2018 report
Trial by Fire
and a June 2018 symposium
Insuring California in a Changing Climate
As the hub of the top environmental law program in the state, situated within a leading public research university known for its commitment to solving society's greatest challenges, CLEE is an excellent place for Jones to continue his work. "We are thrilled that Dave is joining CLEE. CLEE is focused on enabling the transition to a sustainable future for all, and Dave's work on financial sector risk is a critical piece of making that a reality. His rich experience at the state and local level makes him uniquely qualified to help build this into a pivotal new initiative," said Jordan Diamond, Executive Director of CLEE.
Please join one of two upcoming opportunities to officially welcome Jones to Berkeley Law and learn about his climate risk work.