Federal Reserve Appears to Acknowledge Joe Biden Election Win

The Federal Reserve has applied to join the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), an international group of central banks dedicated to combatting climate change, in what may be an acknowledgment that former Vice President Joe Biden has won the election.

The NGFS requires members to be signed up to the Paris Agreement on climate change and it was set up with the express purpose of helping to strengthen "the global response required to meet the goals" of the agreement, according to its website.

The U.S. was a signatory to the agreement, but President Donald Trump decided to leave it in 2017. The earliest allowable date to formally withdraw was November 4, 2020—coincidentally one day after the presidential election. Biden has committed to rejoining the agreement when he takes office.

Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles told the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that the Fed was seeking membership of NGFS.

"We have requested membership. I expect that it will be granted," he said.

Quarles said the Fed could join by the time of the group's meeting in April, 2021.

Bloomberg News climate and energy journalist Akshat Rathi suggested on Twitter that the Fed's application to NGFS was a recognition that Biden had won the election.

"Um... the Fed tacitly accepts that Biden has won the presidency," Rathi wrote on Wednesday. "Fed has requested membership of the NGFS, which requires the central bank's home country to be party to the Paris climate agreement. The US will re-join Paris only if Biden is president."

The chairman of the Fed, Jerome Powell, suggested earlier this year that the U.S. central bank could join NGFS. At the time, the country had not yet withdrawn from the Paris Agreement.

"We have been looking at joining in one form or another and talking to them about that," Powell said on January 29. "We probably will do that at some point."

Powell's remarks led to some speculation the Trump administration might alter its approach to climate change, with the Financial Times reporting on January 31 that some at the Fed had been privately pushing for membership of the banking group.

"The Fed's interest is another sign of the importance of the work of the NGFS," Bank of France governor François Villeroy de Galhau told the FT at the time. "It's a coalition of the willing. Climate risk is clearly a part of financial risk."

However, the U.S. went on to withdraw from the Paris Agreement last week.

The Trump administration has not yet acknowledged that Biden won the election and the president's campaign has filed lawsuits challenging the results in several states.

The Federal Reserve has been asked for comment on this article.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on September 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Powell and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were testifying about the CARES Act and the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The Fed has applied to join an international green banking group. Drew Angerer/Getty Images