Posts Tagged ‘Ever’
Federal agencies never realized the scale of its carbon emissions without the mandatory emissions reporting in the past. The US government is known to be the largest polluter in the entire country and energy reform would compel it to conduct a comprehensive emissions reporting.
While the House of Representatives may have passed their own climate related Act during early 2009, it is not clear whether the Senate will act anytime soon regarding their own version. This has caused environmental advocates around the world to sharply criticize the US for recalcitrance. Obama’s executive order goes some way to appease the critics, as agency emissions account for a very considerable part of the country’s overall footprint.
For the first time, we are likely to see the size of federal agency emissions as each agency is forced to take stock of its overall energy use and conservation. President Obama’s executive order, number 13514, places considerable emphasis on the carbon emissions of each department and calls for a plan to reduce the same.
President Obama has made it clear that the government should set itself as an example of entities that are taking climate change issues seriously by addressing reduction of energy use which are generated from traditional sources. Rather than setting a given standard, he has asked each chief to assume the scale of agency emissions and to determine their own percentage reduction goal. Agencies must now understand their position and report back soon.
The federal government now faces challenges which are surely to be assumed by other organizations in the years ahead. Each organization must be aware of its entire operation, how each of its assets uses energy and consequently pollutes the environment. To be fully effective, a comprehensive analysis of emissions needs to be done to a micro level.
Obama has set a 10 year plan and will be looking for agency emissions to be reduced by a considerable margin during that time. In order to stand behind a stated goal, agency management must first undertake a full-scale analysis, backed up by tailor-made solutions. Full disclosure and transparency will help achieve overall goals of sustainability.
There are hundreds of individual agencies, organizations and departments affected by Obama’s executive order. Some of the agencies might have directly focused on environmental issues but a big chunk might be very much unaware of addressing sustainability as well. It is true to say that each and every one of them will be experts on this subject in short order!
While calling for agency emissions to be reduced and existing systems and assets to be optimized for efficiency, the executive order also calls for a majority of new projects and buildings to be sustainable, to ensure that future growth is contained.