WASHINGTON – Today, in conjunction with President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate, the United States and Canada announced a new initiative to engage governments around the world in greening government operations. Leading by example, both countries also announced they will work together in their respective efforts towards the shared goal of net-zero emissions government. 

The United States, Canada and many governments around the globe are demonstrating leadership by addressing climate change and greening their operations. Efforts include using cleaner energy sources, moving to zero-emission vehicles, greening their procurement, and pursuing green and resilient infrastructure. 

As a first step of their collaborative work on greening government, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Government of Canada’s Treasury Board Secretariat are creating the first of its kind forum for countries to cooperate on greening their government operations. The Greening Government Initiative will enable countries around the world to have an opportunity to share lessons learned, promote innovation and, where relevant and possible, set common greening government goals to support the work underway by countries to meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement. 

“Confronting the climate crisis requires unprecedented cooperation across the globe to meet the urgency science requires,” said CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory. “By partnering, the United States and Canada can achieve our climate goals faster and serve as a model for other governments participating in the Greening Government Initiative. I look forward to seeing more international collaborations forged through this initiative so that together we can create a healthier climate for future generations.”

“Canada is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, including in its government operations,” said the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board of Canada. “We look forward to working with the United States and other countries on our GHG reduction goals and demonstrate leadership by greening government operations, including the adoption of greening procurement strategies.  Leading by example is key, by collaborating on meeting common and individual greening government plans and objectives, we will all benefit from each other’s experience, best practices and innovation.”

The Greening Government Initiative will enable formal and informal international cooperative opportunities, including information sharing, technical exchange, working groups, data stewardship, strategic partnerships, workshops, and communications. 

The collaborative work being initiated by the United States and Canada also includes bilateral work to leverage shared purchasing power to drive government operations to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and increase the climate resilience of fixed assets.

Both countries agree to work together to identify a pathway to net-zero supply chains for our buildings (ex. renewable energy, concrete, steel), and fleet (zero-emission vehicles and clean fuels).

About CEQ

CEQ was created in 1969 by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the purpose of coordinating efforts to improve, preserve, and protect America’s public health and environment.

About the U.S. Government Plan to Tackle the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad

The Biden-Harris Administration has mobilized across government in addressing the climate crisis, fromthe national to the local level and across all agencies. As outlined in the January 27, 2021, executive order on tackling the climate crisis, the U.S. Federal Government is directed to align its management of Federal procurement and real property to achieve a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2035 and reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050.

About the Centre for Greening Government

The Government of Canada’s Centre for Greening Governmentsupports climate action and sustainability in government operations. The mandate of the Centre is to provide government-wide leadership toward net-zero, climate-resilient and green Government of Canada operations.

About the Centre for Greening Government’s Plan for Greening Federal Operations

The Greening Government Strategy supports the Government of Canada’s commitment for net-zero emissions by 2050 and includes an interim target of a 40 percent reduction by 2025 for federal facilities and conventional fleet.

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