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In his remarks last week at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, President Biden highlighted a historic action to address greenhouse gas emissions and protect the Federal Government’s supply chains from climate-related financial risks. In support of the President’s Executive Orders on Climate-Related Financial Risk and Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability, the Administration proposed the Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule, which would require major Federal contractors to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks and set science-based emissions reduction targets.
A broad coalition of business leaders, industry, nonprofits, and climate advocates applauded the action. The new Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule would strengthen the resilience of vulnerable Federal supply chains, resulting in greater efficiencies and reduced climate risk.
See below for what they’re saying:
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren: “Climate change is an existential threat. Federal contractors receive billions of taxpayer dollars each year & I’ve been calling for them to do their part to help fight this crisis. This is a critical action by the Biden admin.” [Tweet, 11/10/22]
Microsoft: “You can’t fix what you can’t measure. Accurate carbon accounting and common standards are key to advancing toward a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. Addressing this across federal agencies is an important step.” [Tweet, 11/14/22]
AECOM: “As a federal contractor committed to achieving science-based net zero, we support the Biden Administration’s decision to take this critical step to decarbonize its supply chain and look forward to working with critical suppliers and public and commercial clients to help advance these bold targets.” [Statement, 11/16/22]
Kraig Conrad, CEO, National Contract Management Association: “NCMA supports efforts to provide more resources and clarity for acquisition professionals from Government and Industry to best meet Presidential Executive Orders and serve the Federal mission. Supply chain resilience is crucial to the delivery of goods and services, and clarity on such rules is essential to business relationships needed to meet the missions.” [Statement, 11/16/22]
Gordon Bitko, Executive Vice President of Policy for Public Sector, Information Technology Industry Council: “Everyone has a role to play in the global effort to combat climate change. The tech industry takes its responsibility to advance climate sustainability seriously, and we welcome the Biden Administration’s commitment to using government procurement as a means to achieve its sustainability goals, while also making the federal supply chain more resilient. While we’re still reviewing the details of the administration’s proposal, we’re encouraged that it builds on existing rigorous corporate sustainability practices and incorporates internationally developed standards for measuring and reporting on sustainability, which will help promote efficient adoption across industries. We look forward to continuing our engagement with the administration as it works toward implementation of this procurement rule and as it develops a comprehensive sustainability strategy, policy, and requirements to mitigate climate change.” [Statement, 11/10/22]
Steven Rothstein, Managing Director of Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, Ceres: “With this rule, the Biden Administration will leverage the enormous procurement power of the federal government to reduce the risk from the government supply chain while also reducing the government’s carbon footprint and helping build markets for new zero-carbon and climate-resilient technologies. President Biden has set a goal to reduce the nation’s emissions by 50-52% by 2030. As the largest buyer of products and services in the world, the U.S. government has a unique opportunity to demonstrate best practices in reducing climate.” [Statement, 11/10/22]
Sarah O’Brien, CEO, Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council: “After 20 years of working with passionate advocates to leverage procurement’s power to drive positive environmental and social impact, I find it truly thrilling to see a US president call out Federal procurement on a global stage as a key driver in driving climate progress.” [Statement, 11/11/22]
Climate Leaders & NGOs:
Michael Panfil, Senior Director and Lead Counsel of Climate Risk & Clean Power, Environmental Defense Fund: “Climate change poses significant and growing financial risks across the United States. Today’s proposed standard, the Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule, from the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council would help ensure that the U.S. federal government—the world’s largest buyer—can make informed purchasing decisions that account for climate-related financial risks. Doing so is an important step in safeguarding the health for the American economy and ensuring resilience of essential government functions. The proposed standard, if finalized, would advance these crucial protections by requiring the federal government’s major suppliers to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks, and to set targets for reducing their emissions. This information is critical as climate change-amplified extreme weather conditions like droughts, storms, and wildfires pose increasing financial risk—and the U.S. government and its supply chain are not immune. Consideration of climate-related financial risks in government procurement is vital and overdue, as the U.S. Government Accountability Office has noted. We urge the swift finalization of this proposed standard.” [Statement, 11/10/22]
Marcene Mitchell, Senior Vice President for Climate Change, World Wildlife Fund: “The new commitments rolled out by the Administration are a strong complement to this year’s package of the most meaningful package of climate legislation in the country’s history. It’s a powerful signal from the United States on its commitment to climate action. The climate crisis is a knot that ties together a host of problems that are each difficult on their own but worsened by a warming planet. Today’s announcements rightly target some of the most stubborn sticking points: methane emissions, climate resilience, equity, and finance. The proposed rule for procurement requirements that would require the largest federal contractors to have emissions reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) is particularly powerful. The purchasing power of the federal government is an influential lever that can drive the marketplace toward greater emissions reductions and climate action. WWF stands ready to work with the President and Special Envoy John Kerry, to achieve a successful COP27 outcome and speed climate action moving forward.” [Statement, 11/11/22]
Tom Steyer, Co-Executive Chair, Galvanize Climate Solutions: “Climate risk IS economic risk. Great to see the Biden administration take this step. As climate disasters occur with greater frequency and intensity, protecting supply chains from climate risks will be essential to protecting the American economy.” [Tweet, 11/10/22]
Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Co-Founder, Urban Ocean Lab: “This is a big deal. Bravo Biden Administration.👏🏽” [Tweet, 11/10/22]
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions: “The @WHCEQ announcement that USG will require federal suppliers to disclose supply chain emissions is a crucial 1st step to curb emissions. As US businesses track & reduce emissions they’ll set the bar to compete in the global low-carbon economy.” [Tweet, 11/10/22]
The Climate Group: “We’re excited to see @POTUS announce new climate policies at #COP27. Each of these policies addresses global areas of need. Methane emissions reductions and a sustainable federal supply chain are a “strong foundation for durable, resilient economic growth.” [Tweet, 11/11/22]
Simon Fischweicher, Head of Corporations and Supply Chains, CDP North America: “Environmental impact must be a top priority for all powerful economic actors in their decision-making going forward. Just like any large corporation, the U.S. government needs quality data from suppliers to see the full picture of its environmental impact. The Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule will follow the model that CDP pioneered in our sustainable supply chain work, demonstrating the power of procurement by ensuring that federal suppliers disclose vital environmental data and set ambitious decarbonization targets. This will give the White House a comprehensive picture of environmental risks as well as opportunities for sustainable action. Moreover, this disclosure data will be useful in informing the Justice40 implementation, helping all companies, municipal governments and investors make greener, more equitable, smarter decisions about where to invest capital.” [Statement, 11/11/22]
Luiz Amaral, CEO, Science Based Targets initiative: “We are seeing a wave of exciting announcements form countries worldwide: Norwegian state-owned companies must set science-based targets, UK firms must commit to net-zero to win government contracts. Now, the Federal Government – the world’s largest purchaser – has taken a bold step to align its value chain with science-based decarbonization. The impact of these game-changing developments cannot be overstated. I am looking forward to working tirelessly to help turn this wave of proposals into a tsunami of climate action.” [Statement, 11/11/22]
Pankaj Bhatia, Global Director, Greenhouse Gas Protocol: “This proposed rule adds rigor and transparency to the U.S. government’s efforts to drive down emissions. It also raises the bar for other governments and businesses to leverage their influence and opportunities across the supply chains to advance ambitious climate goals. The administration’s adoption of GHG Protocol’s Scope 3 Standard for major Federal contractors demonstrates that evaluating supply chain emissions is strategic and critical for facilitating emissions reductions. Scope 3 emissions account for an average of three-quarters of a company’s emissions. Last year, more than 3,300 companies reported Scope 3 emissions in the public CDP dataset. With this proposed rule, the Administration is providing a valuable model for other stakeholders as it becomes increasingly important for governments and corporations to provide visibility into their climate risks and resilience across their supply chains.” [Statement, 11/10/22]
Martin O’Malley, Former Governor of Maryland and Smart Governance Advisor: “Great stuff. Good for Biden, good for the planet, good for our kids and grandkids.” [Tweet, 11/10/22]
Third Way: “Yesterday @POTUS announced historic action to address #GHG emissions by making the US the first national government to require suppliers to set #ParisAgreement-aligned emissions reduction goals. As the world’s single largest buyer of goods & services, the federal gov faces significant financial risks & supply chain disruptions from #climatechange. But there is also great opportunity to use the power of federal purchasing to address the climate crisis. Upon implementation, this rule would strengthen domestic supply chains & reduce climate risk by requiring major federal contractors to publicly disclose #GHG emissions & climate-related financial risks, while also setting science-based emissions reduction targets. The Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule would cover approx. 85% of emissions associated w/ the fed supply chain & add to the larger fed strategy to disclose, manage & mitigate systemic risks that #climatechange poses to US families, businesses & economy. This is yet another ambitious step taken by @WhiteHouseCSO, that along with the #BuyClean Initiative, will drive meaningful progress towards our #industrialdecarbonization and broader climate goals.” [Tweets, 11/11/22]
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The White House
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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Business and Climate Leaders Applaud President Biden’s Proposed Plan to Protect Federal Supply Chain from Climate-Related Risks | CEQ – The White House
The White House