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Executive Order Cuts Federal Government’s GHG Emissions, Boosts Clean Energy Use

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President Obama is issuing an executive order today aimed at curbing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that drive climate change by cutting the federal government’s emissions and increasing its use of renewable energy.

The order calls for a 40 percent reduction in GHG below 2008 levels over the next decade, saving taxpayers up to $18 billion in avoided energy costs. It also increases to 30 percent the share of electricity that the federal government consumes from renewable sources.

According to the Associated Press, today’s executive order calls for the federal government to:

  • Cut energy use in federal buildings 2.5 percent yearly between 2015 and 2025;
  • Cut water use in federal buildings 2 percent yearly through 2025;
  • Reduce GHG emissions from federal vehicles by 30 percent per mile by 2025 compared with 2014 levels;
  • Ensure that federal agencies are getting 25 percent of their heat and electricity from clean sources by 2025; and
  • Increase the number of hybrid and zero-emission vehicles in the federal car and truck fleet.

Supplier Commitments
Complementing the public-sector effort, several major federal suppliers will join a White House roundtable today to discuss their own actions to cut GHG emissions, some making their first corporate commitments to disclose emissions and set new reduction goals, according to a White House statement. Each company does in excess of $1 billion a year in business with the U.S. government.

The White House released specific commitments from IBM, GE, Honeywell, SRA International, Humana, CSC, AECOM, Science Applications International Corporation, HP, Northrop Grumman, United Technologies, CH2MHill, ADS Inc. and Battelle.

The federal government’s actions and the new supplier commitments together will reduce GHG emissions by 26 million metric tons by 2025 from 2008 levels, the equivalent of taking almost 5.5 million cars off the road for a year.

Given that the federal government is the country’s single largest energy consumer, federal emissions reductions and progress across the supply chain will have broad impacts, the White House said. 

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