Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen defended sustainable investing practices and climate change policies that have negatively impacted U.S. oil and gas drilling in an interview Friday.
“I don’t think that the ESG movement and the emphasis on climate change is creating the problems that we have,” Yellen told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday morning when asked if investors need to rethink their stance on fossil fuels. “If anything, the problem is that we haven’t moved as rapidly as we should have.”
“ESG” refers to an investment strategy that considers environmental, social and governance concerns when investing in companies, such as a business’ carbon emissions or the impact of drilling on the nearby environment, according to Investopedia. The strategy may involve directing capital away from the fossil fuel industry and toward renewable technologies.
Yellen said that the energy markets of the United States and Europe would feel less pressure as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine if the nations had greater renewable energy investments.
“In the short run, our ability punish Russia for, really, the horrific acts they are committing in Ukraine and to degrade their power and influence in the world economy, it would be greater if there were less dependence on Russian oil,” Yellen said.
Gas prices have soared across the U.S. since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, contributing to the near 40-year high inflation. The national average price of gas on Friday surged to over $4.24 per gallon, according to American Automobile Association data.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration continues to push climate-related rules aimed at facilitating sustainable investments, with a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposal Monday seeking to force companies to publicly disclose a wide range of climate-related information.
“I am pleased to support today’s proposal because, if adopted, it would provide investors with consistent, comparable, and decision-useful information for making their investment decisions, and it would provide consistent and clear reporting obligations for issuers,” SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said in a statement Monday.
The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.