Fed has a role in combating climate change risk, Powell says

(Reuters News, 30 Jan 2020) U.S. regulators including the Fed have been wary of wading into a subject that is politically divisive - but that is starting to change.

While the overall U.S. response to climate change is up to elected officials, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday, the Fed can play a part in keeping global warming from destabilizing U.S. banks and financial markets.

"The public has every right to expect and will expect that we will ensure that the financial system is resilient and robust against the risks of climate change," Powell said at a news conference following the Fed's January meeting.

Asked why the Fed has not joined dozens of other global central banks in the Network for Greening the Financial System, an international effort to better understand risks from rising temperatures, Powell signaled it is just a matter of time.

"We've been looking at joining in one form or another ... we probably will do that at some point," Powell said, adding that Fed representatives have been participating in the group's meetings.

Scientists say human-generated carbon dioxide is a key cause of global warming that has exacerbated wildfire seasons, helped spawn increasingly destructive hurricanes, and initiated a rise in sea level that threatens coastlines around the world.

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Reuters News, 30 Jan 2020: Fed has a role in combating climate change risk, Powell says