Friday, March 20, 2015

Obama’s Latest Executive Order Cuts Government CO2 Emissions, and the Private Sector’s Joining In

On Thursday morning, President Obama signed a new executive order that requires the federal government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025 from 2008 levels.  A fact sheet distributed by the White House noted that this could boost government renewable energy sources to 30 percent, and save taxpayers $18 billion in energy costs.

Calling this action a “triple win: a win for environment, a for the economy, and for the American taxpayer,” White House Senior Advisor Brian Deese told reporters that this executive order will “raise the bar” beyond previous actions the President has taken to confront climate change head-on.

One reason is that it’s not just federal agencies that will commit to cutting carbon pollution. Several major federal suppliers, such as Lockheed Martin, General Electric, and IBM announced new voluntary commitments to cut their own emissions as well.  With suppliers and agencies jointly shrinking their carbon footprints, the White House estimates that greenhouse gas emissions will drop by 26 million metric tons — 5 million from the private sector, 21 million from the public sector.  In total, this is the equivalent of taking 5.5 million cars off the road for a year.

The ten largest federal suppliers on the scorecard, by size of federal contracts. (Credit: Click to Enlarge. A new scorecard will allow citizens to keep track of how individual suppliers are doing on greenhouse gas management.

The President planned to tour solar panels installed on the roof of the Energy Department building in Washington, DC and host a roundtable with federal suppliers to mark the occasion.

Deese said these were new, “very ambitious goals,” beyond what the companies would do normally.  He noted that IBM, for example, was committed to cutting energy-related greenhouse gas emissions 35 percent by the end of the decade against 2005 levels.

He said the administration was “very confident” that this progress would continue past the end of the President’s term because these goals make financial sense for the agencies that will be implementing them.

Read more at Obama’s Latest Executive Order Cuts Government CO2 Emissions, and the Private Sector’s Joining In

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