WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Assistant Secretary Wally Adeyemo met with environmental groups on Friday to discuss ways to use the corporate tax system to combat climate change, a Treasury Department statement said.
FILE PHOTO: Janet Yellen speaks during a panel discussion at the 2019 meeting of the American Economic Association / Allied Social Science Association in Atlanta, Georgia, the United States, Jan. 4, 2019. REUTERS / Christopher Aluka Berry / File Photo
Yellen discussed the importance of “using all the tools at our disposal, including tax legislation, to work towards net zero emissions,” the statement said.
She noted that President Joe Biden’s proposed tax changes would begin to modernize the United States’ dealings with the fossil fuel industry by removing subsidies from the early 20th century, the statement said.
Yellen and Adeyemo met virtually with representatives of the Center for American Progress, the corridor partners, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Friends of the Earth, the League of Conservation Voters, the Clean Air Force for Mothers, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, from NextGen America and Sierra Club, said Treasury.
No comment was immediately available from the groups.
Biden and his administration are swiftly seeking to reverse the policies of former Republican President Donald Trump, a vocal climate change skeptic, who had promoted measures to maximize fossil fuel development.
The treasury meeting took place days before Biden’s summit with world leaders on climate change.
The U.S. Department of the Interior also attempted on Friday to eradicate the Trump administration’s fossil fuel legacy by repealing a number of policies that spurred drilling and mining, and ordered climate change to be a priority in future agency decisions .
During the financial meeting, Adeyemo discussed the proposed changes to the corporate tax law and their interaction with other parts of the climate change agenda, the Treasury Department said.
He described Biden’s $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, which includes funding for electric vehicles and other alternative energy projects, as “the most significant investment the country has ever made in the fight against climate change.
The Treasury Department said attendees discussed “the benefits of eliminating tax subsidies for fossil fuel producers and creating tax incentives for clean energy producers.”
Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Adaptation by Leslie Adler and Diane Craft