Readout of the Fifth Greening Government Initiative Meeting
GGI Countries Shared Ways They are Leading the Transition to Net-Zero Emission Transportation by Greening Their National Government Vehicle Fleets
Today, representatives of 60 countries across five continents met for the fifth 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 to support global efforts to green national government operations and meet Paris Agreement commitments on climate change. GGI champions the catalytic role of national governments towards countries’ overall achievement of nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
The meeting was co-hosted by Caroline Nguyen, Director for Global Public Sector Partnerships and Private Sector Engagement within the White House Council on Environment Quality (CEQ)’s Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, and Jane Keenan, Director of the Government of Canada’s Centre for Greening Government at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. John Bass, Under Secretary for Management for the U.S. Department of State, and the Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, opened the meeting by providing their perspectives on the leadership role national governments serve in greening their operations and in accelerating the global transition to sustainable transportation.
In many countries national governments are the largest vehicular fleet owner. By transitioning a large vehicular fleet to a low- or zero-emissions fleet, a country can significantly cut its emissions and drive down product manufacturing costs, which in turn can fuel additional consumer demand for hybrid or electric vehicles. Today, many governments have set ambitious targets for achieving a zero-emissions national government fleet. For example, the U.S. Federal Government is on track to meet President Biden’s goal of 100% zero-emission vehicle acquisitions for light-duty vehicles by 2027 and all vehicle classes by 2035.
The meeting featured presentations from Canada, Israel, and Norway that outlined each country’s experiences with decarbonizing their government fleets. Dekel Cohen, Senior Deputy to the Accountant General and Head of the Assets and Logistics Division with the Israeli Ministry of Finance, spoke about his agency’s procurement and infrastructure roadmap to transition the Israeli government fleet to a mixture of electric, hybrid and plug-in-hybrid vehicles. Chris Lindberg, Senior Advisor for Fleets at Canada’s Centre for Greening Government, highlighted lessons learned from greening the Government of Canada’s fleets. Odd Olaf Schei, Senior Advisor with the Norway Directorate for Public Administration and Financial Management, shared insights on the factors that have led to the successful deployment of electric vehicles in Norway, including regulatory mechanisms and national availability of charging infrastructure. The meeting also recognized Andorra, Cambodia, and Kosovo for recently joining GGI.
A robust question and answer session followed the presentations, reflecting the reality that countries face common challenges, considerations, and opportunities in pursuing sustainable fleets, 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 sixth meeting in January 2023, which will focus on countries’ efforts to achieve higher levels of sustainability across government-owned and government-leased facilities.
To date, 44 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. Federal Government to lead by example by using its scale and procurement power to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Through Executive Order 14057, Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability, 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.