GGI Countries Shared Approaches to Making their National Government Operations and Infrastructure More Resilient to Climate Impacts

Today, representatives of more than 50 countries from around the globe met virtually during the fourth meeting of the Greening Government Initiative (GGI)—a first-of-its-kind 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.

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 making their national government operations and infrastructure more adaptive and resilient to the impacts of climate change. Mayock noted that President Biden’s Executive Order 14057 directed Federal agencies to implement the actions identified through their Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans and to modernize Federal policy, programs, operations, and infrastructure to support investment in climate resilience.

The meeting featured presentations from Jordan, the United Kingdom, and the United States that outlined each country’s approach to promoting climate resilience for their national government operations. Dr. Jihad Alsawair and Engineer Sara Alhaleeq of Jordan’s Ministry of Environment highlighted Jordan’s efforts to focus on climate resilience within the broader sphere of greening government. Members of CEQ’s Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer shared insights from the U.S. Federal Government’s approach, including findings that emerged in developing the 2021 Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans. Piotr Mahey, Policy Team Leader for Climate Change Adaptation in the U.K. Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), spoke about his country’s efforts to integrate climate change adaptation across its national government’s estate and operations. 

A robust question and answer session followed the presentations, reflecting the reality that countries face common challenges, considerations, and opportunities with respect to improving climate resilience of national government operations, and that GGI provides a valuable forum for insight and support for countries as they work to meet their own climate and sustainability goals. 

GGI plans to hold its fifth meeting in September 2022, which will focus on countries’ efforts to achieve net-zero emissions from government vehicles.

To date, 41 countries have endorsed the GGI Concept Note  and joined the initiative.

For more information about the Greening Government Initiative, visit www.sustainability.gov/GGI.

About the U.S. Federal Sustainability Plan

On Dec. 8, 2021, President Biden charged the U.S. 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. 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.

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