Government grades on greenhouse gas emissions

May 20th, 2011 by TRT Blog

Our government has come under heavy scrutiny over its lack of consistent messaging around its stance on climate change and our country’s environmental plans for the future. With the airs from our current administration and division amongst political leaders, it seems the current state of affairs has the odds stacked against even the most realistic visions of progress. Transparency is needed now more than ever, and that need has been the driving force behind an emissions scoring system that has been put in place to encourage President Obama’s green agenda.

Designed to show the size of greenhouse gas footprints being left by the federal government, the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report – released in late April of the year, clearly shows how government departments fared against one another.

The card is based on a simple red, yellow, green (low to high) scoring system which assesses scores based on seven criteria that measure the advancement towards goals distinct to each category. Facilities’ energy intensity, for example, have a reduction goal of at least 15 percent compared with 2003. Goals are also set to achieve a 10 percent reduction in petroleum use in a department’s entire vehicle fleet compared to 2005. The openness of the report shows a clear commitment not only to achieving these goals, but to increase awareness of the strides the government is making.

Too often we hear rhetoric from politicians and governing bodies about the work that should be done or will be done, but only see results if it’s completed successfully. By showing the successes and failures of the departments, our government is making it known that there is work that needs to be done.  More importantly, we are being given a look at what the government is doing about it and are (finally) hearing a unified message about the change that is needed.

So while the Department of the Treasury scored green across the board, it’s not all we’re getting a view of, we can see that the Department of Commerce has its work cut out for it to reach its goals.

We’re hoping to see similar goals and demonstrated dedication across common industries so that we know where we stand as a country with regards to the preservation of our planet. See for yourself! Pay a visit to the White House OMB website to view the entire scorecard.

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