Bold Biden Executive Order Will Slash Emissions, Create Sustainable Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, President Biden announced an executive order to greatly reduce the federal government’s climate pollution. This order serves as a critical first step to cutting pollution from the government’s own vehicles, buildings, electricity usage, and construction materials while supporting family-sustaining manufacturing jobs.

Clean Transportation: The executive order instructs government agencies to develop strategies to fully electrify their vehicle fleets, with a target of buying only zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) for light-duty cars and trucks by 2027 and for all vehicle types by 2035. 

Clean Electricity Procurement and Buildings: The executive order sets a requirement of 100% carbon pollution-free electricity, including wind and solar, to power all government operations by 2030. It also requires the modernization of all federal buildings by ensuring that new building construction and major building retrofits increase efficiency, electrify systems, and strengthen sustainability. The EO also implements the first-ever Federal Building Performance Standard.

Clean Manufacturing: The executive order makes a significant move toward Buy Clean policies that would reduce industrial pollution. The order will boost emissions transparency in government purchasing, which would enable prioritization of low-emissions construction materials. Industry emits more than 1.5 gigatons of climate pollution every year, in addition to highly toxic air pollution that causes diseases like cancer and respiratory illnesses in primarily Black and Latinx communities near the fencelines of industrial plants

In Response, Ben Beachy, Director of the Sierra Club’s Living Economy Program, Released the Following Statements:

“We applaud President Biden’s move to leverage the federal government’s massive purchasing power to drive demand for clean manufacturing, electric vehicles, clean buildings, and 100% clean electricity. 

“To support environmental justice, good clean energy jobs, and a livable climate, the United States government must swiftly slash pollution from its own construction materials, vehicle fleets, electricity usage, and buildings, and spur cuts to industrial pollution throughout the supply chain. This executive order is a crucial step down that path.”