Biden order requires net-zero federal government emissions by 2050

Details: A White House fact sheet said the order will direct federal agencies to derive electricity from carbon-free sources by 2030, which it said will spur an additional 10 gigawatts of clean energy capacity. Biden has pledged the whole U.S. power grid will reach carbon neutrality by 2035.

The order also instructs agencies to acquire only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035 — with a nearer 2027 deadline for light-duty vehicles.

The federal government will also pursue a “Buy Clean” policy to encourage using construction materials made with fewer carbon emissions and avoid products with added perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances, so-called forever chemicals linked to cancer and found in U.S. drinking water supplies. It calls for ensuring all procurement meets net-zero marks by 2050.

The order also would require buildings achieve net-zero emissions by 2045, with a 50 percent reduction by 2032.

Overall, those pillars will enable federal operations to hit net-zero emissions by 2050, with a 65 percent reduction this decade, the White House said.

The order will also direct federal agencies to bolster climate resiliency and advance environmental equity and justice goals.

Context: Biden’s order to hit net-zero emissions could eliminate a sizable chunk of planet-heating emissions from the world’s No. 2 contributor to climate change given the extensive reach of federal government operations. But Republicans could block spending and mandates to achieve those goals if they regain control of either the House or the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections.