The United States government is a big part of the nation’s economy. It purchases vehicles, occupies over 300,000 buildings, and sets standards for all kinds of goods and services through its purchases.

Now, the government is using that market power to lead by example on clean-energy production and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

“Today, I signed an executive order directing the federal government to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050,” President Biden tweeted on December 8.

The ambitious new executive order places climate leadership, well-paying and equitable job creation, and economic growth at the center of its plan. The results — a greener and more sustainable planet — benefit the American people and citizens the world over.

The executive order has five main requirements. By achieving net-zero emissions within the federal government, the plan will help to lower the country’s carbon footprint and global environmental impact:

  • 100% of electricity used by the federal government will be carbon pollution-free by 2030, with at least half from locally supplied clean energy.
  • All vehicles acquired by the government must be emission free by 2035. For light-duty vehicles, the date is even earlier — 2027. These will replace the 600,000 U.S. government vehicles currently in use.
  • All materials purchased by the federal government must, by 2050, achieve net-zero emissions. This includes a “buy clean” policy for environmentally friendly construction materials.
  • A net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045 and a 50% emissions reduction by 2032, to transform the U.S. government’s current 300,000 buildings.
  • Net-zero emissions from overall operations by 2050, including a 65% emissions reduction by 2030.

“The executive order will reduce emissions across federal operations, invest in American clean energy industries and manufacturing, and create clean, healthy, and resilient communities,” the White House said in announcing the president’s order.

Banner image: The U.S. government will buy electric vehicles to replace its 600,000-vehicle fleet, according to a new executive order signed by President Biden. (© Shutterstock)