Council on Environmental Quality Issues Guidance on Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting
WASHINGTON – The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) today released Guidance on Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting that establishes Government-wide requirements for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with Federal agency operations.
The Guidance serves as the Federal Government’s official Greenhouse Gas Protocol and will be used by Federal agencies to develop their first GHG inventories. Federal agencies will submit GHG inventories annually beginning in January of 2011, as called for in the Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance (Executive Order 13514) signed by President Obama on October 5, 2009.
“For the first time, this guidance sets consistent standards and requirements for measuring and reporting the Federal Government’s greenhouse gas emissions. Today we take an important step forward in transparency and accountability for the Federal Government’s greenhouse gas pollution. We continue President Obama’s commitment to lead by example toward a healthy and prosperous clean energy future for America,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
The Guidance was announced by Chair Sutley at the first GreenGov Symposium, a three-day event held by CEQ from October 5-7, 2010, in Washington, D.C., that brought together a broad group of sustainability leaders to identify opportunities around greening the Federal Government.
Earlier this year President Obama announced a Federal Government-wide target of a 28 percent reduction by 2020 in direct GHG emissions, such as those from fuels and building energy use, and a target 13 percent reduction by 2020 in indirect GHG emissions, such as those from employee commuting and landfill waste. Combined, these two goals could result in a cumulative reduction of 101 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to the emissions from 235 million barrels of oil. Meeting Federal agency GHG pollution reduction targets is estimated to result in a cumulative $8 billion to $11 billion in avoided energy costs through 2020.
The Executive Order directed the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program to develop recommended Federal GHG reporting and accounting procedures, in coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense, General Services Administration, Department of the Interior, Department of Commerce, and other Agencies as appropriate. These recommendations established the foundation for the Guidance. CEQ released draft Guidance for public review and comment on July 12, 2010. The Draft Guidance was accompanied by a separate Draft Technical Support Document that provided detailed information on Federal inventory reporting requirements and calculation methodologies.
The Executive Order commits the Federal Government to leading by example toward a clean energy economy. The Federal Government is the single largest energy consumer in the United States. The Executive Order sets targets to increase energy efficiency, reduce GHG emissions, reduce fleet petroleum consumption, conserve water, reduce waste, support sustainable communities, and leverage Federal purchasing power to promote environmentally responsible products and technologies. Actions taken pursuant to the Executive Order will save taxpayer dollars, create clean energy jobs, and reduce pollution.