California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones seeks more insurer fossil fuel divestment

California insurance commissioner fossil fuel divestment - coal
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Jones is pushing forward with this initiative as he simultaneously releases new oil, gas and coal data.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is driving ahead in his effort for fossil fuel divestment. This hot button move is continuing forward right up to the close of 2018 and his position at the top of the state’s insurance industry regulator.

Last week, Jones released the most recent data regarding insurance company investment into fossil fuels.

With the release of that data, the California Insurance commissioner brought the new fossil fuel disclosures into the Climate Risk Carbon Initiative database. This database can be found on the official website of the California Department of Insurance. That website is meant to provide insurance industry transparency and insight into the degree of fossil fuel exposure associated with every insurance company operating in the state, said an Insurance Journal report.

The database can be used to discover an insurance company’s fossil fuel investment. This includes investments into gas, coal and oil. It also reveals utility investments and provides three years of the fossil fuel investments made by each insurer from 2015 through 2017. This database is searchable by both year and insurance company.

The database offers individual insurer responses to the California Insurance Commissioner’s divestment requests.

Jones made the fossil fuel divestment request to all insurance companies due to the risk of thermal coal becoming a stranded asset. Jones has applauded the database’s success in combination with a series of other efforts made by his office to encourage insurance companies to address climate change. These efforts were greatly announced in November, at the same time as the request for fossil fuel divestment or commitment of divestment from thermal coal. The goal was to address financial risk associated with climate change.

“Climate change poses potential financial risks to insurers’ investments, particularly those investments in fossil fuels, as governments, businesses, consumers and markets transition away from fossil fuels in order to reduce California insurance commissioner fossil fuel divestment - coalgreenhouse gas emissions causing climate change,” said Jones in a statement last week. The California Insurance Commissioner underscored the steps his office has taken since 2016 for insurance company fossil fuel investment disclosures and divestment for financial protection.

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