Biden administration wants federal contracts to reflect climate risk

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The Biden administration on Thursday began a process to change federal procurement rules to require the US government – the world’s largest buyer of goods and services – to consider the risks of climate change in its contracts.

The administration issued a regulatory proposal notice seeking 60-day advice from federal contractors on an amendment to the federal procurement regulations to ensure it “minimizes the risk of climate change.”

The rulemaking process implements an executive order from President Joe Biden in May that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the supply chain and make it more resilient to the impacts of climate change .

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“Today’s action sends a strong signal that in order to do business with the federal government, companies must protect consumers by starting to mitigate the impact of climate change on their operations and supply chains,” said Shalanda Young, acting director of the White House office. of Management and Budget.

The executive order called for changes to federal procurement rules to account for the “social cost” of greenhouse gas emissions, which is an estimate of the monetized damage associated with increased emissions.

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The public’s contribution is sought on methodologies for measuring greenhouse gas emissions from products and services; how emissions can be factored into procurement decisions; and how government can standardize greenhouse gas reporting methods.

Young said changes in public procurement decision-making “can alter markets, spur innovation and be a catalyst for new global standards.”

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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