President Biden issues more executive orders to tackle the climate crisis at home, plus he announces plans to replace the government fleet with American-made electric vehicles. General Motors pledges to end gas and diesel vehicle production by 2035, and Boeing announces the aerospace company will fly on 100% biofuel by 2030.
President Biden’s New Executive Orders, Replacement of Government Fleet With American Made Electric Vehicle, General Motors Takes a Pledge, Boeing Announces Going 100% Biofuel
A CLOSER LOOK AT PRESIDENT BIDEN’S CLIMATE CHANGE EXECUTIVE ORDERS
“We’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis,” said President Joe Biden while signing a series of executive orders last week, designed to combat the climate crisis at home and abroad. These latest EOs provide a real foundation for building a green economy in the US. Here are some highlights of particular positive action climate change importance (excerpted from the Order): The establishment of a Civilian Climate Corps Initiative to put a new generation of Americans to work conserving and restoring public lands and waters, increasing reforestation, increasing carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protecting biodiversity, improving access to recreation, and addressing the changing climate.
Directing the Secretary of Agriculture to collect input from farmers, ranchers, and other stakeholders on how to use federal programs to encourage adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices that produce verifiable carbon reductions and sequestrations and create new sources of income and jobs for rural Americans. Establishing a White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council and a White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council to prioritize environmental justice and ensure a whole-of-government approach to addressing current and historical environmental injustices. The order creates a government-wide Justice40 Initiative with the goal of delivering 40 percent of the overall benefits of relevant federal investments to disadvantaged communities and tracks performance toward that goal through the establishment of an Environmental Justice Scorecard.
DEEPER DIVE: White House, BBC, USA Today
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TO REPLACE ALL FEDERAL VEHICLES WITH ELECTRIC AUTOS
More news on the administration’s executive orders. President Joe Biden announced the replacement of the entire fleet of federal vehicles with electric cars, vans and trucks built in the United States — approximately 645,000 nationwide.
Reported by Forbes, if the entire U.S. automobile fleet were electric, total savings is estimated to be $70 billion. The switch would also be saving the planet billions. Every year, federal vehicles drive approximately four-and-a-half billion miles, meaning those vehicles emit approximately seven billion pounds of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to the Washington Post. Switching to electric means those emissions would go from seven billion… to zero.
The new executive order also aligns with President Biden’s incentive to put millions of electric vehicles on the country’s roads and reach 100% electric vehicle sales in the U.S. by the year 2030. Since taking office, the Biden administration has prioritized tackling the climate crisis through reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also focused on strengthening the national automobile industry.
News on the Biden administration also shared headlines General Motors’ announcement to eliminate gasoline and diesel light-duty cars and SUV’s by 2035.
DEEPER DIVE: Forbes, Washington Post
GM TO END GAS CAR PRODUCTION BY 2035
General Motors plans to phase out gas and diesel-powered passenger cars, vans and sport utility vehicles by 2035, marking a historic turning point for the iconic American carmaker and promising a future of new electric vehicles for American motorists. As previously reported on The Climate Daily, GM chief executive Mary Barra broke with the Trump administration and sided with California in its efforts to abolish the sale of gas cars in that state by 2035. This announcement builds on her pledge to position GM in the near term as a green auto leader. “As one of the world’s largest automakers, we hope to set an example of responsible leadership in a world that is faced with climate change,” Barra said on LinkedIn.
GM has said it would invest $27 billion in electric vehicles and associated products between 2020 and 2025, outstripping its spending on conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles. That figure includes refurbishing factories and investing in battery production in conjunction with LG Chem, a South Korean battery maker. The goal of the company is to have about 40 percent of the company’s U.S. models be battery-powered electric vehicles, by late 2025, And it pledged to make its factories and other facilities carbon neutral by 2040.
BOEING ANNOUNCES ITS JETS WILL FLY ON 100% BIOFUEL BY 2030
Boeing Company announced the aerospace company will deliver commercial airplanes designed to fly on 100% biofuel by 2030. Reported by Reuters, the plan requires expansions to jet systems, increases to fuel-blending requirements and checks for safety certification by global regulators. Headquartered in my hometown of Chicago, IL, Boeing Company specializes in designing, manufacturing and selling airplanes, rockets, satellites, rotorcraft, and telecommunication equipment worldwide. According to Boeing’s Commercial Aviation and the Environment report, the company’s commercial aviation carries over four billion people and roughly $7 trillion in goods every year.
However, this is not Boeing’s first step towards sustainable aviation. The company made headlines in 2018 for deploying the world’s first commercial flight on 100% biofuel. In an interview with Reuters, Boeing Director of Sustainability Strategy said “climate change is the challenge of our lifetime” and “aviation is committed to doing its part to reduce its carbon footprint”. As the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing’s transition to biofuel could inspire other mainstream, commercial companies to build towards a more sustainable future.