President Barack Obama on Jan. 29 ordered the federal government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 28% by 2020. The reduction is pursuant to Executive Order 13514, signed by Obama in October. The order provides that “Federal agencies shall increase energy efficiency; measure, report, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from direct and indirect activities; conserve and protect water resources through efficiency, reuse, and stormwater management; eliminate waste, recycle, and prevent pollution.” The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) will be responsible for implementing the initiatives outlined in the order at the agency and departmental levels.
Obama’s announcement comes a month after the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Although the conference failed to produce any legally binding resolution, 192 countries, including the US, agreed to “take note” of the non-binding Cophenhagen Accord. (Jurist, Jan. 29)
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