U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC that “climate change” and subsequent “adverse effects on developing countries” remains a top priority for the department as inflation and surging costs-of-living continue to impact Americans.
Yellen sat down with CNBC on Monday after returning from the G20 economic summit in India. “I want to ask you about your trip this week and your top priorities and messages for world leaders at a time where, if you look at the global economy, you mentioned China’s weaker than expected. Europe is also showing some more weakness, Germany going negative in growth,” said CNBC host Sara Eisen. “What are you saying to them?”
“Well, we are focused this week on measures to address issues in the global economy and to achieve stronger and sustainable growth. Russia’s continuing brutal war in Ukraine is having a very adverse impact, and we’re spending time this week discussing food prices and what we can do to alleviate hunger and shortages of food, especially since the Black Sea Green Initiative, Russia has ended that,” Yellen replied.
“We’re focused on climate change and the adverse impact that’s having on developing countries, on emerging markets. It interacts with scarcity of food. And we’re focused on greatly expanding the amount of aid and private investment that we can channel into emerging markets in developing countries around the world,” she continued. “We have an initiative to enable the World Bank and the other multilateral development banks to greatly expand their provision of resources and to mobilize private capital for climate change.”
Yellen added that the department remains focused on a number of additional issues, including the prevention of “future pandemics.”
“We’re focused on health, preventing future pandemics, and mobilizing funds, both public and private, through the president’s partnership for global investment with the G7 to boost infrastructure development in a meaningful way, infrastructure investment around the world,” Yellen said. “So these are some of the main focuses this week. It’s a heavy around the world. So these are some of the main focuses this week. It’s a heavy agenda, it is.”
The interview comes as the economy and costs-of-living hikes continue to poll as a top issue for the American people.
According to the most recent Harvard/CAPS Harris survey — which polled 2,103 registered voters from September 12-14 — just 30 percent of respondents believed that the U.S. economy is on the “right track.” 61 percent stated that the economy was trending upwards.
50 percent of respondents said that their financial situation was “getting worse” while just 24 percent said it was improving. An additional 26 percent said that their financial situation had remained the same.
As for President Biden’s handling of the economy, just 39 percent of those surveyed expressed approval. The Biden Administration scored particularly low marks for handling inflation, with just 35 percent saying Biden has handled the issue well.