Apr 19, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Treasury Dept. unveils climate "hub" and names former Obama official as lead

The U.S. Treasury building.
The U.S. Treasury Building. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

The Treasury Department offered more information Monday on plans to expand its focus on global warming, and said John E. Morton, a climate finance expert who served in the Obama administration, will lead the efforts.

Why it matters: Announcement of the new "Climate Hub" and Morton's appointment signal how the Biden administration is stitching climate policy into the fabric of agencies across the government.

The big picture: Treasury said the Hub would "coordinate and enhance" work to "facilitate and unlock" financing for climate-friendly investments; make environmental justice central to Treasury's efforts; work to mitigate climate-related risks to the financial system; and more.

  • They said the "Hub" would draw on expertise and resources from across Treasury.
  • The announcement comes ahead of the virtual international summit the White House is hosting later this week, where one focus will be marshaling more financial resources.

Catch up fast: Morton, who will report directly to Secretary Janet Yellen, comes to Treasury from his job as a partner at Pollination Group, a climate advisory and investment firm.

  • Per Reuters, at the firm he "worked with 'high ambition' companies that set corporate emission reduction and clean investment targets but didn't have firm plans in place and helped them take concrete steps to match their pledges."
  • In the Obama administration, he served as senior director for energy and climate change at the National Security Council, and before that was a senior official with the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (which is now the U.S. International Development Finance Corp.).

What they're saying: "Climate change requires economy-wide investments by industry and government as well as actions to measure and mitigate climate-related risks to households, businesses, and our financial sector," Yellen said in a statement.

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