News Nov 14, 2023 06:40 AM EST

US Treasure Secretary Yellen Urges APEC Finance Ministers to Embrace Sustainable Growth Strategies

By April Fowell

On Monday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged the finance ministers of the Pacific Rim to increase their economies' potential for productivity while attempting to fund the shift to low-carbon energy and provide the underprivileged greater chances.

Yellen stated at the opening of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that the group's economic vitality made its efforts important for tackling global issues.

In prepared remarks, Yellen stated that synergy amongst the 21 APEC economies was necessary to achieve the objectives of building a "open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful Asia-Pacific community" for the 2023 U.S. hosting year.

2023 was a "pivotal year" for APEC, according to Yellen, when countries could work on "advancing fiscal reforms to build our economies over the long run" after several years devoted to the post-pandemic recovery.

However, she noted that less rich nations required assistance to make the transition and that economic progress could not be divorced from the urgent need to wean mankind off of energy sources that overheat the earth.

These accords specify the requirements affluent nations must meet in order to provide financial support for poor nations' energy transformation.

APEC Economic Leaders Hold Meetings In San Francisco
(Photo : by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 13: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen delivers remarks at a news conference following the conclusion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) finance ministers' meeting at Moscone Center on November 13, 2023 in San Francisco, California. APEC, which pulls together dozens of world leaders and hundreds of CEOs from 21 member economies in the Pacific Rim, runs through November 17. U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet.

Yellen added at the conclusion of the discussions on Monday that attempts to establish a solid economic partnership with China are proceeding "along the right path."

According to her, leaders are concentrating on "unlocking the flow of sustainable finance" as well, which includes looking into methods to support the creation of reliable climate pledges and efficient voluntary carbon markets.

Yellen Calls for Increased Production Amid Global Economic Challenges

Yellen stated the group needs to boost potential production the day after the APEC Secretariat released updated projections for slower GDP next year amid a protracted battle with inflation and tensions between the United States and China.

In an attempt to defuse tensions between the two biggest economies in the world, U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a high-stakes meeting just after the APEC finance ministers conference later this week.

On Friday, Yellen and Vice Premier He Lifeng of China reached a consensus to "intensify communication," but she also cautioned Beijing's new economic czar to take tough measures against Chinese companies supporting Russia's military campaign in Ukraine.

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From Workforce Expansion to Net-Zero Targets and Financial Principles

The meeting's agenda includes increasing the number of workers in APEC member countries, funding infrastructure and research, and allocating funds to hasten the achievement of net-zero emissions targets. Yellen stated that two outstanding examples of this effort are the Just Energy Transition Partnerships for Vietnam and Indonesia, which are funded by the G7, multilateral development institutions, and private investors.

The Treasury's principles for financial firms' net-zero pledges, which will require their lending and investments to align with goals to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius by mid-century, as well as the development of carbon markets and "responsible development" of digital assets, are also being discussed at the meeting.

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