WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed a executive order to make the federal government carbon neutral by 2050, aiming to reduce planet-warming greenhouse gases by 65% emissions by 2030 and a fleet of all-electric vehicles and vans five years later.
The White House said the order shows how the government will “use its size and procurement power to take the lead in addressing the climate crisis.” climate change.
“As the nation’s largest landowner, consumer, and energy user, the federal government can spur private-sector investment and expand the U.S. economy and industry. by transforming the way we build, buy and manage electricity, vehicles, buildings and other activities must be clean and sustainable,” the order said.
It directs that government buildings use 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030; that the U.S. fleet of cars and trucks become all-electric by 2035; and federal contracts for carbon-free goods and services by 2050.
Biden said government buildings must be carbon-free by 2045, including cutting emissions by 50% by 2032.
The White House said the executive action was part of Biden’s commitment to support the growth of clean energy and clean technology industries and accelerate US progress towards achieving zero electricity. carbon pollution by 2035.
Through the executive order, the government will transform its portfolio of 300,000 buildings, a fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks, and an annual purchasing power of goods and services of $650 billion to achieve zero emissions. net zero for the next three decades, the White House said.
The statement said: “The United States government will take the lead in providing a strong foundation for American businesses to compete and win globally in the clean energy economy, while creating the well-paid union work at home”.
Environmental groups often hail the order as a positive step, although some question the 30-year timeframe to achieve net zero emissions.
The order sets “a bold benchmark for electricity procurement” and sets “massive government purchasing power to advance key zero-carbon technologies,” said Lindsey Baxter Griffith, the Force’s federal policy director. Clean Air Force Task Force, an advocacy group said.
“We are pleased to see the US federal government, the largest electricity buyer in the nation, focus on complete decarbonisation (and) invest in solutions that will work on our grid. every hour of every day,” Griffith said.
But for Bill Snape, an attorney at the Center for Biodiversity, another environmental group, “the year 2050 is an incredibly weak target for the federal government to free itself from climate-driven pollution. heated up”.
Command to “ignore existing technology” and add decades to the commitment of General Services AdministrationSnape, the agency that oversees government purchases and real estate, to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2025, Snape said.
“This is like a teenager promising to clean their room in 30 years. We need to act now,” he said.
The White House said the order would make federal agencies more resilient to the impacts of climate change and increase supply chain sustainability, reducing future disruption and damage to operations. federal properties and programs.
On electricity, the White House said the government will work with utilities, developers, technology companies and other financiers to buy electricity produced from sources that do not generate emissions. carbon, including solar and wind, for all its operations by 2030.
The White House said the shift to zero-emission vehicles “will accelerate the development of America’s industrial capacity to deliver zero-emission vehicles and electric vehicle batteries, while creating and sustaining new technologies.” good cooperation in manufacturing, engineering and skilled trades’, the White House said.