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Leveling the Fields

June 1, 2020

Farming offers a powerful path to build community wealth and resilience to challenges such as water pollution, droughts and floods, and lack of access to healthy food. However, US agriculture— particularly the pursuit of sustainable agriculture—is rife with obstacles for Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color (BIPOC), including immigrants, migrants, and refugees. These obstacles include difficulty securing capital, credit, land, infrastructure, and information. For these groups, such challenges are compounded by longstanding structural and institutional racism. We review opportunities for governments, the private sector, philanthropies, and others to contribute to simultaneously building socioeconomic equity and sustainability in US food systems. To begin overcoming the history of racist policies and exclusion, it is our primary recommendation that solutions be developed by and with—rather than for— Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color.

Assets or Liabilities? Fossil Fuel Investments of Leading U.S. Insurers

June 6, 2016

A global clean energy transformation is underway—and it has significant implications for fossil fuel companies and their investors.This new Ceres report, Assets or Liabilities? Fossil Fuel Investments of Leading U.S. Insurers, focuses on the risks to insurance companies—the second-largest type of institutional investor after pension funds based on assets under management.It is already well understood by U.S. insurance regulators that insurers' massive bond and equity holdings expose them to both credit risk and systemic/market risk. As insurers also face uncertainty related to the size and timing of their insured loss payouts, insurance regulators require companies to invest conservatively so they can meet their financial obligations and remain financially stable.In light of these factors, as well as the crucial role of insurers in providing a safety net in the face of climate change, Ceres examined the 40 largest US insurance group's investments (bonds, common stock, and preferred stock) in the oil and gas, coal and electric/gas utilities sectors.Are insurers, and the industry's regulators, taking action to identify and evaluate their potential investment exposure? What are the best strategic options for companies to reduce identified threats, and how should regulators assess insurers' risk management?