Bluelining — Tackling an Emerging Climate Justice Issue

black and white image of a mural showing a woman's face painted on a wall of a burned out building with no roof. Blackened, burned cans and furniture lie in the foreground

Artist Shane Grammar painted this mural in a building burned by the 2021 Dixie Fire in Greenville California. Photo by Harold Litwiler.

  • Bluelining — Tackling an Emerging Climate Justice Issue

Over the past year, several property insurance companies have pulled out or scaled back coverage in the Golden State in the face of growing risks from catastrophic, climate change-charged wildfires. Other climate vulnerable states like flood-prone Florida and Louisiana too, have experienced insurer pull-outs.But it isn’t just insurance companies that are pulling out. Other financial institutions like banks, too, are beginning to increase prices or withdraw services altogether from regions they perceive to be at high environmental risk. This emerging phenomenon in the financial services industry — known as bluelining — is expected to impact marginalized communities the worst and deepen existing economic and racial inequities.

To understand this new environmental justice issue and learn about the ways we can address it, Earth Island Journal editor and Terra Verde host Maureen Nandini Mitra talks with two climate finance strategists — Monica Palmeira of the Oakland-based Greenlining Institute, who co-authored a report called Bluelining: Climate Financial Discrimination on the Horizon, and Caroline Nagy, senior policy counsel for Housing, Corporate Power, and Climate Justice at Americans for Financial Reform.

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