Janet Yellen planted a flag during her confirmation hearing in January 2021. Climate change, she declared, was an "existential threat,” and as U.S. Treasury secretary, she would make it a focus of her work.

Since taking office, she’s warned of the danger to the economy and financial system. She’s urged Congress and foreign governments in the rich world to do more to help poorer countries adapt to global warming, and thrown the Treasury behind implementing U.S. President Joe Biden’s signature climate bill, seeking to squeeze the most from the sprawling new law.

Yellen is the "best ally of climate action in the entire Biden administration,” according to Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, an outspoken climate hawk.