The commitments mark a victory for lawmakers and advocates who want the Biden administration to enlist Treasury's sweeping influence to address the dangers that climate change poses to the economy.
Treasury secretary nominee Janet Yellen on Tuesday pledged to create a team to focus on climate change, in a move that's likely to put the powerful agency at the forefront of the Biden administration's efforts to combat what she called an "existential threat." In a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, Yellen said she planned to start a new Treasury "hub" that would examine financial system risks arising from climate change and on related tax policy incentives. She also intends to appoint a "very senior-level" official to lead climate efforts. "We should take these risks very, very seriously," Yellen said, in response to a question from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). Yellen's promise was the latest evidence that climate change will be a fundamental consideration in a wide range of actions undertaken by the new administration. It's a dramatic shift after the Trump administration spent four years pulling back on climate policy.