Biden Calls for Federal Buildings and Vehicles to Be Fueled by Renewable Energy by 2050
Joe Biden unveiled a proposal on Wednesday to make the federal government carbon-neutral, calling on federal agencies to acquire electric cars, use wind, solar, and nuclear energy to power facilities, and use ecologically friendly materials.
Biden has vowed to use the federal government’s annual purchases of $650 billion in goods and services, as well as its 300,000 buildings and 600,000 cars and trucks, to achieve his goal of a carbon-neutral government by 2050.
Biden stated his intention to utilize the federal government as a model and to assist boost the green energy market since his presidential campaign began. The order establishing a deadline for the transition was signed on Wednesday.
By 2030, Biden wants the federal government to buy electricity only from sources that do not emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. The Biden administration also aims to reduce buildings’ emissions by half by 2032.
The White House directive was first reported by The Washington Post. Experts said that the measures would provide a significant boost to the clean energy sector if carried out.
“It’s a similar strategy to what China is doing so successfully, leveraging the purchasing power of their government to create demand that markets can meet,” said Joshua Freed, senior vice president for climate and energy at Third Way, a centrist Democratic research group.
“The federal government in so many areas is one of, if not the largest, purchaser,” Freed said, noting that the government spends about $5 billion annually buying concrete. So setting standards for more environmentally sustainable products and clean energy and zero-emissions vehicles, he said, would have a “huge influence” on the private sector.
Biden has promised to reduce U.S. emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by the end of this decade. Analysts said hundreds of billions of dollars in tax credits in a significant climate and social spending bill moving through Congress might get the United States halfway there. Still, the rest will require effective presidential action.