US President Barack Obama will sign an executive order on Thursday extending emission reduction targets for US federal government departments in an effort to get the public sector to lead by example.
News of the order was reported in several news outlets, including Reuters, the New York Times and The Hill.
- The effort is more than symbolic because the federal government is the largest single consumer of energy in the country, and the cuts will contribute to the US target to cut its overall GHG emissions 26-28% under 2005 levels by 2030.
- The federal government has direct and energy-use emissions of around 43 million tonnes of GHGs a year, a small part of the country’s 6 billion tonne annual emission total but similar to the entire emissions output of mid-sized nations such as Slovakia.
- Thursday’s order will extend the existing federal government-wide target of a 28% reduction by 2020 in its direct and energy-use emissions, which was set by Obama in 2010.
- That goal is on track to being met, with 2013 emissions down 17.2%, according to government agency data.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org