Climate activists demand more Fed action at Jackson Hole conference According to Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A slow-moving landslide is seen to threaten several homes and businesses in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in this photo taken April 17, 2014. REUTERS / David Stubbs (USA – Tags : SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT)
By Ann Saphir
JACKSON, WYO. (Reuters) -Climate activists gathered on Thursday outside the motel hosting the annual Jackson Hole central bank conference in Wyoming to make their demands that the Federal Reserve do much more to move the US economy away from fossil fuels.
Several dozen people stood in a designated area beside the entrance to the motel, holding signs and chanting. Activists say their demands include urging the US central bank to act faster than asking banks to guard against vulnerabilities caused by natural disasters and potential disruptions related to disasters. green energy transition.
They also called for steps that Fed policymakers say goes beyond their mandate, like blocking bank lending from oil companies.
Central banks around the world are convening the Fed’s Jackson Hole symposium in Kansas City, where they are expected to discuss the fight against high inflation.
The Fed has long shied away from getting into climate issues, a prominent US political issue. For example, it is the last major central bank to join the Financial System Greening Network. Peer-to-peer banks such as the Bank of England and the European Central Bank conduct annual climate stress tests on banks in their jurisdictions.
Instead, the US central bank has focused on understanding the risks that climate change and the transition away from fossil fuels pose to the economy. But it has largely ruled out a more active role in promoting investment in green energy, as the ECB has begun to do and as activists would like.
That is in line with many Republicans in Congress who do not support the prospect that the Fed will play an active role in mitigating climate risks. Activists and some Democrats feel such a stance should at least be considered.
The Fed, which is accountable to the US Congress, has two internal teams and has partnered with US regulators to study potential vulnerabilities in the banking sector and the larger financial system.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also said the Fed is exploring how banks can respond to climate risks such as rising temperatures and weather disasters, including developing scenarios of climate stress that have already occurred. used by other central banks.
Any focus on climate would be consistent with the Fed’s mandate to achieve maximum employment and price stability, Powell said.
Activists on Wednesday posted a clip on Twitter (NYSE:) of a group approaching Powell in the restaurant where he had dined and holding a banner calling for a “fossil free Fed.”
Powell did not appear to say anything to the activists as they followed him out of the restaurant, the clip on Twitter showed.