Insuring the Energy Transition

Thursday March 14, 2024 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Silverman 245A
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia , PA 19104

Lunch will be provided. Please register.

As the impacts of climate change become increasingly severe, the need to accelerate an energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources has become all the more urgent. Additional action is needed to strengthen infrastructure and make cities and towns more resilient in the face of climate change. To what extent can the insurance industry, with its expertise in risk management, be a driver of positive change to help society avoid the worst effects of climate change?

To explore what the insurance industry is and could be doing to address climate change issues—and how climate change is affecting the insurance industry itself—the Penn Program on Regulation has organized a lunchtime discussion featuring a panel of leading experts, including:

  • Tom Baker: William Maul Measey Professor of Law at Penn Carey Law
  • Benjamin Keys: Rowan Family Foundation Professor of Real Estate and Finance at the Wharton School
  • Carolyn Kousky: Associate Vice President for Economics and Policy at the Environmental Defense Fund
  • Margaret Peloso: Senior Vice President of the Chubb Group; Global Climate Officer and Executive Director of the Chubb Charitable Foundation; and Lecturer in Law at Penn Carey Law

The discussion will be moderated by Cary Coglianese, the Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Penn Program on Regulation.

Lunch will be provided. Please be sure to register here.


Tom Baker

William Maul Measey Professor of Law

Penn Carey Law

Tom Baker is a highly regarded insurance expert, a leading scholar of insurance law and policy, and a devoted law teacher. He is the Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law Liability Insurance and co-founder of Picwell, a health data analytics company (acquired by Jellyvision) that provides advanced decision support tools to health insurance exchanges, insurers, and employers. Baker created the widely cited COVID Coverage Litigation Tracker, which gathers data on state and federal lawsuits by businesses seeking coverage for business interruption losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before joining the Law School faculty in 2008, Baker served for 11 years as the inaugural Connecticut Mutual Professor and Director of the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut.  A graduate of Harvard Law, Baker clerked for the Honorable Juan R. Torruella of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, practiced with the law firm of Covington & Burling, served as Associate Counsel to the Independent Counsel Iran/Contra, and entered law teaching as an associate professor at University of Miami Law.

Benjamin Keys

Rowan Family Foundation Professor; Professor of Real Estate; Professor of Finance

Wharton School

Benjamin J. Keys is a professor in the Real Estate and Finance Departments at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He is also a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, an associate editor of the Review of Financial Studies and Management Science, a member of the Academic Research Council at the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center, and a fellow at the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, Keys was an assistant professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and an economist in the Division of Research and Statistics at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. His research interests include household finance, mortgage finance, real estate, applied econometrics, and urban economics. Keys received his BA from Swarthmore College and his MA and PhD from the University of Michigan.

Carolyn Kousky

Associate Vice President for Economics and Policy

Environmental Defense Fund

Carolyn Kousky is the Associate Vice President for Economics and Policy at Environmental Defense Fund. Dr. Kousky’s research examines multiple aspects of climate risk management and policy approaches for increasing resilience. She has published numerous articles, reports, and book chapters on the economics and policy of climate risk and disaster finance. She is a co-editor of A Blueprint for Coastal Adaptation and author of Understanding Disaster Insurance: New Tools for a More Resilient Future.

Dr. Kousky has worked with many communities on resilience strategies and developing inclusive models for insurance and disaster recovery. She is the vice-chair of the California Climate Insurance Working Group, a university fellow at Resources for the Future, a non-resident scholar at the Insurance Information Institute, and a member of the Roundtable on Risk and Resilience of Extreme Events at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Dr. Kousky is currently an author for the economics chapter of the Fifth National Climate Assessment.

Margaret Peloso

Senior Vice President

Chubb Group

Margaret Peloso is Senior Vice President, Chubb Group; Global Climate Officer; and Executive Director of the Chubb Charitable Foundation. Ms. Peloso has responsibility for Chubb's climate-related strategies, including business and public policy initiatives.  She also oversees the Chubb Charitable Foundation, which supports clearly defined projects that solve problems with measurable and sustainable outcomes.

Ms. Peloso is an expert in environmental and global climate issues. She joined Chubb in 2023 from Vinson & Elkins, where she served as the law firm's Lead Sustainability Partner with responsibility for integrating sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors across its portfolio. Before her 13-year tenure at Vinson & Elkins, Ms. Peloso completed a Ph.D. in Environment at Duke University, and her law degree at Stanford University. She also received Master's and Bachelor's degrees from Duke.
Ms. Peloso is a frequent author on sustainability and climate risks, including her Ph.D. dissertation, Adapting to Rising Sea Levels.  In addition to serving as chair of several environment, energy and resources committees and councils of the American Bar Association, Ms. Peloso is a board member of the Environmental Law Institute and past board member of the Surfrider Foundation. She previously served on the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Council and has chaired several ABA committees. Ms. Peloso is a lecturer in law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.

Cary Coglianese (moderator)

Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science

Penn Carey Law

Cary Coglianese specializes in the study of administrative law and regulatory processes, with an emphasis on the empirical evaluation of alternative processes and strategies and the role of public participation, technology, and business-government relations in policy-making. His books include Achieving Regulatory Excellence (Brookings Institution Press, 2016); Does Regulation Kill Jobs? (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014); Regulatory Breakdown: The Crisis of Confidence of US Regulation (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012); Import Safety: Regulatory Governance in the Global Economy (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009); Regulation and Regulator Processes (Ashgate, 2007); and Leveraging the Private Sector: Management-Based Strategies for Improving Environmental Performance (Routledge, 2006). He has also recently written on climate change policy, public participation and transparency in federal rulemaking, the use of artificial intelligence by government agencies, and voluntary environmental programs. Coglianese was a founding editor of the peer-reviewed journal Regulation & Governance, and he founded and continues to serve as advisor to The Regulatory Review.