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U.S. Treasury eyes corporate tax system as way to tackle climate change

04/16/2021 | 03:45pm EDT

WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo met with environmental groups on Friday to discuss ways to leverage the corporate tax system to help address climate change, Treasury said in a statement.

Yellen discussed the importance of "using all the tools at our disposal, including the tax code, to drive toward net-zero emissions," the statement said.

She noted that President Joe Biden's proposed tax changes would begin to modernize how the United States treats the fossil fuel industry by removing subsidies that date back to the early 1900s, the statement said.

Yellen and Adeyemo met virtually with officials from the Center for American Progress, Corridor Partners, Environmental Defense Fund, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Moms Clean Air Force, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, NextGen America, and Sierra Club, Treasury said.

No comment was immediately available from the groups.

Biden and his administration are moving rapidly to reverse the policies of Republican former President Donald Trump, a vocal climate change skeptic, who had pushed policies to maximize fossil fuel development.

The Treasury meeting came days before Biden's summit with global leaders on climate change.

The U.S. Interior Department on Friday also sought to erase the Trump administration's pro-fossil fuels legacy by revoking a series of policies that boosted drilling and mining, and ordering that climate change be put at the forefront in future agency decisions.

During the Treasury meeting, Adeyemo discussed proposed changes in the corporate tax law and how they will interact with other parts of the climate agenda, Treasury said.

He described Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, which includes funding for funding electric vehicles and other alternative energy projects, as "the most significant investment in the fight against climate change the country has ever made.

Treasury said participants discussed "the benefits of removing tax subsidies for fossil fuel producers and creating tax incentives for clean energy producers." (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Leslie Adler and Diane Craft)

© Reuters 2021
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