On September 19, Secretary of the Treasury, Janet L. Yellen, discussed Treasury’s efforts to facilitate the net-zero transition, support the momentum of private-sector financial institutions that are already taking into account market demand and supporting the transition, and share emerging best practices around commitments to the transition, through the introduction of its Principles for Net-Zero Financing and Investment.
In discussing the role of private-sector financial institutions in the net-zero transition, Secretary Yellen noted that “more than 650 institutions representing roughly 40 percent of global financial assets have made commitments to support the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner” and “more than 100 U.S. financial institutions have voluntarily done so.” Yellen also emphasized the commitments of research and civil society groups to engage in technical work in support of the principals, as well as monetary support from philanthropic institutions that have pledged $340 million in support of net-zero transition and work related to the Principles.
Secretary Yellen noted that the principles are designed to be flexible to accommodate differences in entity size as well as other factors such as business model, client base, products and services and jurisdictions, but affirmed the importance of net-zero commitments aligning with the goal of limiting the increase in global average temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To that end, the agency recommends that institutions develop transition plans that clearly articulate practices, targets and metrics for reaching their net-zero commitments.
The principles also encourage private-sector financial institutions to support net-zero commitments by providing transition finance to clients that are focused on their own initiatives that align with those of the institutions, and by investing in cutting-edge clean energy technologies.