Earlier this month, the President announced $2 billion in new commitments in energy efficiency by the Federal Government through the use of energy performance contracts, a great example of how the Administration is working with the private sector to improve energy efficiency. All over the country, Federal agencies are leading by example by using less energy, cutting costs, and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. But the Federal Government can’t do it alone. Partnerships between the Federal Government and private sector make commitments to energy efficiency and sustainability a reality.
Last week, the Council on Environmental Quality hosted the GreenGov Workshop on Renewable Energy Purchasing and Development, which brought together Federal agency directors, private sector leaders, and a wide range of other stakeholders committed to clean energy. The workshop encouraged dynamic conversation on the importance of renewable energy for the future of both business and the Federal government.
Presenters, including keynote speaker Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, shared lessons learned and innovations in renewable energy deployment for Federal agencies, the use of alternative financing for renewable energy investments, and success stories from both industry and the Federal government. Private sector partners offered their perspective on improving the contracting process while Federal agency presenters provided examples of innovations such as using previously contaminated lands for renewable energy siting and sharing contracting expertise between agencies.
The President firmly believes that the Federal Government should lead by example in improving energy and cutting harmful carbon pollution, which is why he set aggressive targets for Federal agencies for reducing their energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and water use. Through this initiative, the Federal Government – the largest energy consumer in the U.S. economy – has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent – the equivalent of permanently taking 1.8 million cars off the road. As we envision a future that is more resilient to climate change, it is imperative to understand the value of partnerships between the Federal government and the private sector. GreenGov helps strengthen those partnerships and build a more energy efficient future.
As two new additions to the Council on Environmental Quality, we’re looking forward to working with Federal agencies and the private sector to keep leading by example.
Kate Brandt is the Federal Environmental Executive and Angela Barranco is the Associate Director for Public Engagement at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.