WASHINGTON (CN) - The White House plans to "lead by example" and significantly cut the amount of greenhouse gases federal facilities emit over the next decade.
President Barack Obama issued an executive order Thursday directing the federal government to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent (from 2008 levels) in the next ten years.
The order prioritizes reducing the cost and use of energy over renewable and alternative energy sources, and builds on the White House's announcement last November that the U.S. would cut net greenhouse gas emissions between 26 and 28 percent below 2005 levels.
"We have the opportunity to reduce agency direct greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent over the next decade while at the same time fostering innovation, reducing spending, and strengthening the communities in which our Federal facilities operate," Obama wrote in the order.
Within 90 days of the order, each federal agency will be required to propose reduction targets for greenhouse gases. By 2025, agencies are expected to ensure than a quarter of their total energy consumption comes from clean energy sources.
In the next decade, also are to reduce energy use in their buildings by 2.5 percent per year.
The Obama administration hosted a related roundtable this week with a number of companies that supply energy and other services to the government, including General Electric, IBM, and Honeywell. For instance, GE committed to investing $25 million in research and development over the next five years, and reducing its water and greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from its 2011 baseline.