On Thursday, President Obama issued an executive order to the federal government to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by 40%. President Obama's executive also directs the government to step up its use of renewable energy sources to 30%.
"Over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever to combat climate change. Last year, the federal government used less energy than at any time in the past four decades. And in a historic joint announcement that many of you saw, China committed to limiting their emissions for the first time.
"So today, America once again is going to be leading by example. This morning, I signed an executive order that will do two things. First, we’re going to cut the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from the 2008 levels within the next 10 years. Second, we’re going to increase the share of electricity that the federal government uses from renewable sources to 30 percent within the next 10 years. These are ambitious goals, but we know that they’re achievable goals.
"And I want to thank the executives of some of our leading companies in the country who are here, because they’re stepping up and making similar commitments. Folks from IBM to GE, Northrop Grumman -- some of our biggest Fortune 100 companies are setting their own ambitious goals.
"And, cumulatively, what this is doing is allowing us across the economy to not only hit some key targets that are going to be required in order for us to reduce climate change, but they’re also saving money, helping their bottom line, and they’re giving a boost to the industry as a whole -- because as we get economies of scale, and demand for solar and wind and other renewable energies grows, obviously that can help drive down the overall price, make it that much for efficient, and we start getting a virtuous cycle that is good for the economy and creates jobs here in America.
"So we very much want to thank our private sector partners. You guys have done an outstanding job. And because of the prominence of many of the companies here, and the fact that they’ve got a whole bunch of suppliers up and down the chain, what you do with respect to energy efficiency is going to have a ripple effect throughout the economy. And we’re very pleased with that," President Obama said.