Nick Fetty | March 20, 2015
President Obama signed an executive order on Thursday calling for the federal government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared to 2008 levels over the next decade. The order also calls for renewable energy sources to make up 30 percent of total electricity consumption over the same period. The plan is expected to save taxpayers $18 million in electricity costs.
“We thought it was important for us to lead by example,” Obama said in an interview with the Associated Press. “These are ambitious goals, but we know they’re achievable goals.”
The Obama administration hopes that this decision will serve as a model for encouraging other nations to deal with the effects of climate change. Other nations are expected to set similar carbon emission and renewable energy goals as part of a global climate treaty to be finalized in December.
According to the most recent data available, the federal government contributed to less than one percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2013. Obama also lauded efforts made by private sector companies such as General Electric, IBM, and Northrup Grumman which have taken voluntary steps at mitigating the effects of climate change.
This announcement comes on the heels of last month’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2015 which calls for a 7 percent increase in funding for clean energy and $4 billion to encourage further reduction in power plant emissions.