The President's Climate Action Plan, issued June 25, 2013,
outlines numerous initiatives to address global climate
change. One of the plan's most ambitious goals is
that the federal government will consume 20 percent of its
electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020, more than
doubling the current target of 7.5 percent.
A report released June 27 by the Center for Climate and
Energy Solutions (C2ES), a successor organization to the nonprofit
Pew Center on Global Climate Change, references the new Plan and
discusses ways that federal agencies can reduce their carbon
emissions through existing information and communication
technologies (ICT). The report is available at http://www.c2es.org/publications/leading-by-example-2-how-ict-help-achieve-federal-sustainability.
C2ES estimates that the federal government accounts for 1.8 percent
of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and is the "nation's
largest landlord, employer, fleet operator, and purchaser of goods
and services." In C2ES's view, substantial
reductions can be achieved through such ICT practices as:
Expanding use of telework, teleconferencing, and e-training as
substitutes for travel;
Installing more energy meters, building sensors, and energy
Consolidating data centers and shifting information technology
systems to the cloud;
Strengthening the "Smart Grid," by integrating
renewables into the grid, real-time pricing, and reductions in
transmission and distribution losses;
Increasing the number of "Smart Buildings"—by
facilitating advanced-design building to enhance energy efficiency,
sensors, and building energy management systems;
Enhancing logistics (such as GPS systems) for more efficient
utilization of commercial and personal vehicles.
The report includes a useful compendium of key federal programs
and statistics about the federal government's energy usage.
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On June 27, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado held that several federal agencies violated the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA") for failing to disclose projected greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions associated with expanded mining exploration activities in the North Fork Valley in western Colorado.