April 21 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday pledged to aggressively tackle climate change using all the tools at her disposal, warning that a failure to do so effectively and promptly could undermine economic growth.
To bring the U.S. economy in line with international goals of eliminating carbon emissions will “require bold and urgent action – nothing less than transforming important sectors of the global economy, especially when it comes to how we generate power and move people and goods,” Yellen said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Institute of International Finance.
“We are committed to directing public investment to areas that can facilitate our transition to net-zero and strengthen the functioning of our financial system so that workers, investors, and businesses can seize the opportunity that tackling climate change presents,” Yellen said.
U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled on Thursday to convene a summit of 40 world leaders on climate change, where he is expected to unveil a target to cut emissions by roughly 50% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels.
Yellen’s wide-ranging speech reflects a sharp reversal of the policies of the Trump administration, which had pulled the United States out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.
Her speech ticked through a range of plans designed to tackle the problem from all sides, including beefing up requirements for disclosure of climate risks so that investors have consistent information on which to base decisions amid rising risks from severe weather events and as governments, corporations and households move toward greener energy. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Ann Saphir Editing by Paul Simao)