DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — On Tuesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made stops in Durham and Chapel Hill where she met with local and state leaders discussing different topics that included inflation, the economy and climate change.
One of Yellen’s stops was at Cypress Creek Renewables’ solar farm in Chapel Hill where she gave a speech focused on President Joe Biden’s historic investment in fighting climate change.
Yellen said President Biden has secured $430 billion in the climate and health bill, and she said some of that funding will go toward modernizing our country’s energy system.
“I’m happy to report that President Biden’s economic plan represents the most aggressive action ever taken to address a climate crisis,” Yellen said.
Yellen reiterated both the existential risks as well as the economic risks of climate change as she talked about how much the U.S. has spent on natural disasters in recent years.
“There’s been at least a fivefold increase in the annual number of billion-dollar disasters over the past five years compared to the 1980s,” Yellen said.
Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee released a statement about Yellen’s visit.
“How ironic for Janet Yellen to come to North Carolina to talk about the problems she and the rest of the Biden administration created,” RNC Spokeswoman Taylor Mazock said in a statement. Through rising taxes, historic inflation and disastrous economic policies, the Biden-Yellen agenda has led the country into a recession.”
Amid the current administration’s plan to fight climate change, Yellen said the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in half by the end of the decade. She said one way they plan to do that is by offering consumer tax credits.
“We’ll do this through tax credits to lower the cost of home energy efficiency improvements for buying and installing energy-efficient air conditioners and furnaces in homes,” Yellen said.
Beyond that, Yellen said they expect companies to invest in the clean energy sector and she said the plan is to modernize the energy system.
But Yellen stressed climate change is not just about preparing for the future, but she said it’s also about what we are doing in the present.
“This is no longer just about our children, frankly this is about us as well and the volatility of the planet we live in,” Yellen said.