Interior Department Releases Climate and Sustainability Plans on Fifth Anniversary of President Obama's Executive Order

Department Exceeds Annual Renewable Energy Goal, While Continuing to Reduce Carbon Footprint and Water Use

Last edited 09/29/2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, the Department of the Interior today released its plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change impacts such as flooding, sea level rise, severe weather and temperature extremes.

The release of Sustainability Plans and Climate Adaptation Plans by federal agencies coincides with the fifth anniversary of President Obama's 2009 Executive Order on Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance, which set aggressive energy, climate and environmental targets for agencies.

The Climate Adaptation Plan outlines how Interior is integrating climate adaptation strategies into policies, programs and operations, while the Sustainability Plan shows how Interior is meeting Administration goals for reducing carbon emissions and water use and exceeding renewable energy goals. The plans also detail how Interior's actions have already contributed to reducing the Federal Government's total greenhouse gas emissions by more than 17 percent since 2008 – the equivalent of permanently taking 1.8 million cars off the road.

Interior's 2014 Climate Adaptation Plan

Climate change is already impacting the lands, wildlife and waters managed by Interior and is predicted to have more widespread future impacts - including sea level rise, significant wildlife habitat changes, increased risk of wild land fire and alterations to fresh water availability.

The National Park Service reports climate change is already affecting its ability to conserve park resources and it will fundamentally alter iconic features of parks. Glacier National Park, for example, has already lost most of its glaciers.

The bureaus' many activities created to address current and future impacts of climate change include, but are not limited to, the National Park Service's Climate Change Response Program, the Bureau of Reclamation's WaterSMART Basin Studies and West-Wide Climate Impact Assessments as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Climate Change Strategic Plan and the work of the Department and its bureaus through Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and Climate Science Centers.

Interior's 2014 Sustainability Plan

As the largest energy user in the Nation, the Federal Government must also lead by example to reduce its own emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases. Interior's Sustainability Plan outlines how the agency has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions and is meeting additional water, energy and waste targets.

Examples of performance reported in Interior's 2014 Sustainability Plan include:

  • Decreasing certain greenhouse gas emissions by 18.3 percent in FY 2013 relative to the FY 2008 baseline—putting the department on track to meet the reduction goal of 20 percent by 2020.
  • Reducing potable water intensity by 13.9 percent in 2013, relative to the FY 2007 baseline—putting the department on track to meet the water reduction goal of 26 percent by 2020; and
  • Exceeding the FY 2013 renewable electricity goal of 7.5 percent as a percentage of electricity use.

The Department of the Interior's 2014 Sustainability Plan builds on five years of progress under President Obama's Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance signed in October 2009. The order set aggressive targets for reducing waste and pollution in Federal operations by 2020 as well as doubling renewable power in the same timeframe. Meeting this renewable energy goal will reduce pollution in our communities, promote American energy independence and support homegrown energy produced by American workers. Interior's sustainability plan provides an overview of how the Department is saving taxpayer dollars, reducing carbon emissions and conserving energy and water.

Federal Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans are available now here and the Department of the Interior's report and climate adaptation plans are also available here.

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