GGI Countries Shared Ways They are Powering Government Operations with Carbon-free Electricity to Reduce Emissions, Achieve National Sustainability Goals, and Stimulate Economic Growth
Today, representatives of more than 50 countries from around the globe met virtually during the third meeting of the Greening Government Initiative—a first-of-its-kind community of practice for countries to cooperate on greening their government operations.
Federal Chief Sustainability Officer Andrew Mayock from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Executive Director for the Centre for Greening Government at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Nick Xenos led the meeting, which focused on how national governments can lead by example by using carbon-free electricity (CFE) for government operations in order to reduce emissions, achieve sustainability goals, and stimulate growth within their economies. Federal Chief Sustainability Officer Andrew Mayock noted that President Biden’s Executive Order 14057 set the goal of powering Federal facilities with 100 percent CFE by 2030, including 50 percent on a 24/7 basis.
The meeting featured presentations from Japan, Malawi, and Finland that outlined each country’s approach to using CFE for government operations. Masaaki Kishi, Deputy Director for the Climate Change Policy Division at Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, outlined Japan’s approach, which includes the goal of powering government operations with at least 60 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Maria Luwani, Environmental Officer in Malawi’s Environmental Affairs Department, outlined Malawi’s work to promote sustainable energy and the challenges it faces as one of the least electrified countries in the world. Juha-Pekka Paunu, Category Manager for Energy at Hansel Oy, presented how Finland’s central government agencies can benefit from using Hansel, a central purchasing body, in acquiring CFE.
A robust question and answer session followed the presentations, reflecting the reality that countries face common challenges, considerations, and opportunities to adopting CFE for national government operations, and that the GGI provides a valuable forum of insight and support.
GGI plans to hold its fourth meeting in June 2022, which will focus on efforts countries are taking to make their national government assets more adaptive and resilient to the impacts of climate change.
For more information about the Greening Government Initiative, visit www.sustainability.gov/GGI.
About the Greening Government Initiative
Launched by the Governments of the United States and Canada in April 2021, the Greening Government Initiative is a new initiative that enables countries to exchange information, promote innovation and share best practices in order to green government operations and help meet Paris Agreement commitments. To date, 41 countries have joined the initiative.
About the U.S. Federal Sustainability Plan
On Dec. 8, 2021, President Biden charged the U.S. Federal Government to lead by example by using its scale and procurement power to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Through Executive Order 14057 and the accompanying Federal Sustainability Plan, Federal infrastructure will be transitioned to zero-emission vehicles and energy efficient buildings, all powered by carbon pollution-free electricity. At least half of the CFE used for Federal operations will be locally supplied clean energy to meet 24/7 demand. The Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, which is a part of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is leading the implementation of the executive action and plan.