Biden Administration Outlines More Climate Goals

(Credit: The White House)

by | Oct 15, 2021

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(Credit: The White House)

The Biden Administration released a comprehensive strategy to tackle climate change and to help businesses, supply chains and communities address risks from growing climate and environmental concerns such as damaging natural disasters.

The United States is one of the biggest pieces of the supply chain in the world and the US government says it is the largest buyer of goods and services internationally. It says it spent more than $650 billion in 2020 alone and wants to make sure its suppliers are making advancements in sustainability.

Part of the plan calls for government agencies to consider a supplier’s greenhouse gas emissions when making purchases and give preference to suppliers that make the issue a priority and do better jobs with sustainability.

The 40-page report also laid out goals for the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR) to explore improvements in federal purchasing agreements that would improve the disclosure of GHG emissions and for the government to set science-based emissions targets. By doing so, according to the plan, the government is leading in a public procurement initiative that promotes a more sustainable market.

Also, the country has seen more than $600 in losses to natural disasters over the past five years. 2021 has seen its fair share, from a major winter storm in Texas that took power offline, to Hurricane Ida and wildfires in California. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says there have been nine events with more than a billion dollars of damage in the US in 2021.

The growing problem has prompted the government to do what it can to keep infrastructure working and to give businesses and communities tools to help in that area.

The government released improved tools to address these areas, such as a redesigned NOAA website that could help in preparing for natural disasters, as well as increased data, dashboards and other information available to the public.

This new strategy builds off a Biden executive order from May that outlined climate-related financial risks. It’s also comes ahead of the upcoming COP26 Climate talks in Scotland and is part of an increasing focus Biden has had on climate related topics.

“The intensifying impacts of climate change present physical risk to assets, publicly traded securities, private investments, and companies,” President Biden says in the report.

At the end of March he released a $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan that included $174 billion toward electric vehicles and another $100 billion toward upgrading the country’s power infrastructure. In April the White House made changes in who leads the US National Climate Assessment.

Ceres CEO Mindy Lubber told the Guardian that no US President has taken such steps on climate action and doing so across all government agencies.

The focus is also spreading worldwide, especially ahead of the climate summit. The European Union recently addressed a bigger focus on advancing renewable energy and China shut down power and some manufacturing that threatened big supply chain issues as part of a power crunch in that country.

Overall, more than US 20 agencies released climate adaption plans as part of this strategy.

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