REMARKS by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen in New York, on Treasury’s Principles for Net-Zero Financing & Investment
The physical impacts of climate change are impossible to ignore. We’ve seen record-breaking heatwaves that have led to a tragic spike in heat-related deaths and hospitalizations. Unprecedented storms and wildfires are destroying homes and undermining livelihoods. Vulnerable populations globally are disproportionately affected because of where they live and the industries in which they work, and low-income Americans are no exception.
Such events impose significant economic costs. Global economic losses from natural disasters amounted to almost $200 billion during the first half of this year. Households face increasing challenges, and firms have assets and business models that may be at risk in a world with substantial climate damage.
It’s no surprise, then, that the climate crisis is propelling a massive economic shift. There’s increasing demand for technologies, products, and services that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support a clean energy future. This demand is fueling growth in new industries and business models. In the United States, government support is playing a role in accelerating this transition. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides funding for wide-ranging investments, including $7.5 billion in electric vehicle charging, $10 billion in clean transportation, and over $20 billion to upgrade the power grid. The Inflation Reduction Act, the most ambitious climate law in U.S. history, expands demand- and supply-side incentives for clean energy investment and production. At the Treasury Department, our economists, lawyers, and other experts are working tirelessly to support implementation, including through issuing rules on wide-ranging tax incentives. And private sector companies are responding – quickly. Over the past two and a half years, they’ve committed $240 billion in new clean energy manufacturing investments.
And there’s more untapped opportunity, in the U.S. and globally. In my remarks today, I’ll focus not on our Administration’s historic climate investments but on another part of the story: the significant global economic opportunities for private-sector financial institutions, and the ways that these institutions are already taking into account market demand and supporting the net-zero transition. I’ll also introduce the Treasury Department’s most recent effort to support this momentum: the Principles for Net-Zero Financing and Investment.
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