Who Protects and Profits from the Polluters? Levine Bill will Expose Insurance Ties to the Fossil Fuel Industry

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – With the impacts of the climate crisis being felt across California and around the globe, Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) today introduced legislation to require insurance companies operating in California to disclose investments in fossil fuel-related​ entities and the fossil fuel-related companies and projects it underwrites or otherwise​ insures. AB 1694 (Levine) is the latest action by Levine to fight the climate crisis and protect consumers in the insurance marketplace.

 

Insurance companies in California are facing unprecedented threats to their solvency and ability to write insurance policies throughout California due to the increase in frequency and severity of wildfires, exacerbated by climate change. The insurers' response to climate risk, such as cancellations, non-renewals, and sky-rocketing premiums for entire zip codes, falls hardest on low-income communities, communities of color, retirees and others on fixed incomes.

 

AB 1694 expands upon the disclosures requested by former Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in 2016 to cover all underwriting of, and investment in, fossil fuel-related projects by all of the 1,500 insurance companies that do business in California - the largest insurance market in the nation. Without AB 1694, California’s insurance regulator cannot meaningfully assess or begin to address the climate risk borne by insurers and their fossil fuel-related investments and underwriting.

 

“We can be aggressive in the face of the climate crisis if we show courage,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine. “Insurance companies want to raise rates due to climate risk, yet are investing and underwriting the fossil fuel industry - the very industry that exacerbates climate change. If we are serious about fighting the climate crisis, we need transparency from the insurance industry created by AB 1694.”

 

AB 1694 will be considered by the State Assembly this Spring.

 

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