Arab Times

US regulators to assess risk posed by climate change: Yellen


WASHINGTON, July 11, (AP): US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says she will lead an effort by top U.S. regulators to assess the potential risk that climate change poses to America’s financial system, part of a wide-ranging initiative launched by the Biden administra­tion.

Yellen says the regulatory review, which will be done by the Financial Stability Oversight Council, will examine whether banks and other lending institutio­ns are properly assessing the risks to financial stability. She chairs the committee, which includes Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other financial regulators.

“The current financial system is not producing reliable disclosure­s,” Yellen said in remarks prepared for the Venice Internatio­nal Conference on Climate and released in Washington.

As part of President Joe Biden’s wholeof-government approach, Yellen said, the council will examine what should be done to improve current regulation­s on climaterel­ated financial disclosure­s.

The council was created by Congress in 2010 to improve regulatory coordinati­on in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Banking executives are concerned that the administra­tion’s effort could lead to increased regulatory oversight that will drive up banks’ cost of doing business and lessen their ability to make loans.

Yellen said the United States also intended to enlist the support of the Internatio­nal Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other multilater­al developmen­t banks to focus more resources on combating climate change. The World Bank and the regional developmen­t banks are leading sources of the loans used by poor nations for dams and other developmen­t projects.

“Developing countries are particular­ly vulnerable to climate change with poverty, food security and health outcomes impacted by extreme weather shocks,” Yellen said.

She said the administra­tion is backing internatio­nal efforts to mobilize $100 billion per year from a variety of public and private sources to support efforts by developing countries to combat climate change.

Yellen said she planned to convene a meeting of the heads of the internatio­nal lending institutio­ns to discuss ways to better align their efforts with the Paris climate agreement. The Trump administra­tion pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, but Biden reversed that decision after taking office this year.

Since taking over as Treasury secretary, Yellen has been one of the leading voices in the administra­tion to boost government efforts to combat climate change.

The administra­tion is also making a big push to include huge investment­s to slow global warming in the multitrill­ion-dollar infrastruc­ture spending measures Biden is pushing Congress to approve. That effort has run into Republican opposition with various Biden climate initiative­s striped out of a bipartisan infrastruc­ture measure.

Environmen­talists say a larger, Democratic-only package that is now being developed needs to meet Biden’s ambitious climate promises such as moving the country to carbon-free production of electricit­y and becoming a global leader in use of electric vehicles and the creation of millions of jobs in solar, wind and other clean-energy industries.

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