At COP28 event, CEQ Shared Progress on President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan

DUBAI – Today, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28), the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) announced 11 new countries are joining the Net-Zero Government Initiative, putting their national government operations on a path to reach net zero emissions by 2050. At the COP28 event, CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory also commemorated the two-year anniversary of President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan, a road map that puts the U.S. Government on a path to save taxpayer dollars, support robust climate action, create thousands of jobs, and make the nation more economically competitive.

Net-Zero Government Initiative Expands Membership

During a COP28 event with partner nations, CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory announced that the following countries are joining the United States in the Net-Zero Government Initiative (NZGI) by committing to achieve net-zero government emissions by 2050: Andorra, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nigeria, and Spain. With these additional countries, the NZGI now spans 30 countries across 6 continents.

“National governments are frequently the largest energy consumers, building and vehicle owners, and purchasers of goods and services in their countries, so they play a critical role in the world’s climate future,” said White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory. “By joining the Net-Zero Government Initiative and taking action to reduce their climate emissions, national governments can catalyze climate action in their countries. I applaud our newest NZGI members for committing to net-zero national government emissions, and I commend the NZGI members who are delivering on their plans for achieving this ambitious goal.”

Following NZGI’s launch at COP27, 15 NZGI countries have developed roadmaps for achieving net-zero emissions.  The roadmaps set out both interim and final targets for emissions reduction. President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan serves as the U.S. NZGI Roadmap.

U.S. Government Makes Substantial Progress Towards Federal Sustainability Plan Goals

In his first week in office, President Biden charged the U.S. Federal Government to lead by example by sustainably managing its footprint of 300,000 buildings, 600,000 vehicles, and $630 billion in annual spending on goods and services. In December 2021, President Biden issued the Federal Sustainability Plan, which directed the U.S. Government to achieve the following five primary objectives:

  • 100% zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) acquisitions by 2035, including 100% light-duty (LD) acquisitions by 2027;
  • 100% locally-supplied carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) by 2030, at least half of which will be locally supplied clean energy to meet 24/7 hourly-matched demand;
  • A net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045, including a 50% emissions reduction by 2032;
  • Net-zero emissions from Federal procurement by 2050, including a Buy Clean program to catalyze markets for construction materials with lower embodied emissions; and
  • Net-zero emissions from overall Federal operations by 2050, including a 65% emissions reduction by 2030.

Over the past two years, Federal agencies have restored the U.S. Government’s leadership by example by making their operations more resilient and sustainable. Here are examples of progress towards the goals of the Federal Sustainability Plan:

  • 100% ZEV acquisitions by 2035, including 100% LD acquisitions by 2027: At the start of the Biden-Harris Administration, the Federal fleet included fewer than 2,000 ZEVs, out of 600,000 vehicles overall. Over the past three years, the Federal Government has ordered over 54,000 ZEVs and has begun installing more than 26,000 charging ports in the near term, adding to the 7,000 already in use across the government.
  • Achieve 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity use by 2030, including 50 percent on a 24/7 basis: The U.S. Government has signed agreements to provide Federal facilities in 16 states with 100% CFE by 2030, which will increase the U.S. Government’s reliance on clean energy from 38% to 47% en route to 100% by 2030. Additionally, in 2023, the Department of Energy (DOE) launched an innovative initiative to use more than 700,000 acres of DOE land to develop new clean electricity generation for the grid.
  • Net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045, including a 50% emissions reduction by 2032: The Biden-Harris Administration is investing over $1 billion in Inflation Reduction Act funding to upgrade Federal buildings across the country with sustainable technologies so that they are more efficient, all-electric, and powered by 100% carbon-free electricity. Federal buildings have already cut emissions by more than 7% since 2020 and, as of 2022, have achieved a 39% overall reduction from 2008 levels. With this once-in-a-generation investment, combined with the Administration’s new Federal Building Performance Standard and Climate Smart Buildings Initiative, the Biden-Harris Administration expects to achieve net-zero emissions for approximately 2,000 Federal buildings by 2030.
  • Net-zero emissions from Federal procurement by 2050, including a Buy Clean program to catalyze markets for construction materials with lower embodied emissions: To reduce the emissions associated with the Federal supply chain, the Biden-Harris Administration proposed a rule in 2023 that would maximize Federal procurement of sustainable products, such as ENERGY STAR-labeled electronics. Further, President Biden has charged his Administration to prioritize the use of low-carbon, American-made concrete, asphalt, glass, and steel in Federal procurement and Federally-funded projects, including the infrastructure projects funded by the Inflation Reduction Act. The President’s Federal Buy Clean Initiative has also begun procurement of over USD $4 billion of American-made cleaner construction materials, and will invest USD $450 million to help standardize robust emissions measurement tools for the emerging market for clean construction materials.
  • Net-zero emissions operations by 2050, including 65% emissions reduction by 2030: Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Federal operations are down 37% from 2008, when the U.S. Government first calculated its GHG footprint. In 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration has continued to make progress toward its bold goal to reduce emissions from Federal operations by 65% in 2030, thanks to agency efforts to become more energy efficient, use more carbon-free electricity, and increase the number of ZEVs in agency fleets.

The Biden-Harris Administration is keeping the public informed of its Federal Sustainability Plan progress and performance at

Learn more about the Net Zero Government Initiative and read the NZGI member roadmaps here

Watch a recording of the Net Zero Government Initiative COP28 event here.

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