Ceres Applauds Latest Action From Biden Administration to Leverage Government Leadership to Accelerate the Clean Energy Economy

Dec 9, 2021 11:30 AM ET
Campaign: Policy
The Whitehouse

December 9, 2021 /3BL Media/ -

President Biden’s new executive order catalyzing the U.S. government toward net zero emissions by utilizing the federal government’s purchasing power is “yet another important signal that this administration is committed to using it’s full authority and influence toward building a more competitive economy and strengthening U.S. leadership in the technology markets of today and tomorrow,” said Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations, at Ceres. 

Specifically, Biden’s action today set a number of targets to scale up federal investments in clean technologies and operations across the federal government’s portfolio of 300,000 buildings, fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks, and annual purchasing power of $650 billion in goods and services. In addition to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, the goals in the order will set the federal government on a path to run on 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030, achieve a net zero emissions across all buildings by 2045, and move toward a 100% zero emission vehicle fleet by 2035. 

“As the world’s largest buyer, the U.S. federal government is leading by example to cut pollution from vehicles, buildings, electricity usage, and construction materials—all high-emitting sectors that are vital to meeting the country's climate and economic goals,” said Kelly. “We applaud the administration for continuing to prioritize and scale innovative climate solutions that reduce costs and increase resilience. Today’s order will drive demand for clean, affordable energy and vehicles, spur private sector action, and create good-paying jobs in communities across the country—an all around winning combination.”

“Leading businesses are already working to meet similar goals in their operations and welcome this kind of ambitious federal climate action. Now, Congress must act soon to pass the Build Back Better budget package. Doing so will help meet these new federal climate goals, ensure U.S. industry continues to lead, and cut costs for businesses and families around the country,” Kelly added. 

Major companies and investors have advocated for Congress to include strong climate and environmental justice policies in the budget package. These efforts have included the annual LEAD on Climate lobbying push in May and the America Is All In coalition’s Hill Day in July. Ceres also organized more than 160 companies and investors that signed a letter urging Congress to include the strongest possible climate measures in the Build Back Better package. Many of these companies and investors continue to push Congress to adopt these policies as part of the budget package. 

Ceres also called attention to the order’s inclusion of a target to transition the federal vehicle fleet to 100% zero emission. The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and moving to zero emissions vehicles is necessary to meeting national climate goals while keeping the U.S economy strong. 

“The Biden administration's move toward a 100% zero emission vehicle fleet is positive. We must set and meet both near- and long-term ambitious targets if we have any hope of reaching critical climate goals in time,” said Carol Lee Rawn, senior director of transportation at Ceres. “If we accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles in the U.S., we can help to ensure that U.S. automakers remain competitive in the global transition to electric vehicles.”  

About Ceres

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

Media Contact: Helen Booth-Tobin, booth-tobin@ceres.org, 617-247-0700 ext. 214