Executive Order 14057 (Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability)

In December 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14057 (Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability) to address, among other things, climate change mitigation as well as several key points related to adaptation, resilience, equity, and environmental justice. EO 14057 deals with these issues through establishing several new positions and groups. It then calls on these new groups, as well as existing ones within the federal government, to put a greater emphasis on resilience and environmental justice in the infrastructure and operations spheres. There are several new considerations related to adaptation and equity that the federal government is to consider. However, they must still implement these considerations consistent with existing Biden administration policies outlined in past executive orders.

Executive Order 14057 intends to survey the broad risks that the climate crisis poses and identifies opportunities to improve the American economy through addressing these risks. One method to address these risks is through the establishment of several new groups and positions. For instance, “[T]he Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer is reestablished within CEQ” to be supported by a new Chief Sustainability Officer Council to “advise the Director of OMB and the Chair of CEQ on the performance of agency responsibilities under this order”. A Federal Leaders working group on Climate Adaptation and Resilience will also be established within CEQ. These new groups and officers, along with existing organizations, help to accomplish the goals of the order. One of the goals is a greater focus on environmental justice. EO 14057 calls on the federal government to “incorporate environmental justice considerations into sustainability and climate adaptation planning, programs, and operations.” Agencies should consider adopting the Justice40 Initiative, required by section 223 of Executive Order 14008. Furthermore, agencies must address environmental justice actions taken when putting forth individual Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans, as required by section 503 of this order. These plans generally will describe “actions and progress toward the goals and requirements of this order” and “build on the agency’s plan submitted pursuant to section 211 of Executive Order 14008.” Finally, an expert on environmental justice is included on the Chief Sustainability Officer Council. 

EO 14057 also aims for nationwide resilience to the effects of climate change, mostly through a focus on “climate resilient infrastructure and operations.” On the operations side, there is a call to agencies to “support resilient supply chains.” Federal supply chains should be a tool in “building resilience to climate change.” Also on the operations side, agencies should conduct climate adaptation analysis, and planning should be done for “climate-informed financial and management decisions and program implementation”. Tools should be developed that support climate adaptation planning and implementation. Additionally, employees should have the opportunity to be trained in climate adaptation, and climate adaptation should be incorporated throughout the workforce. Finally, the new Federal Chief Sustainability Officer is expected to help bring about climate resilient Federal operations.

On the infrastructure side, there is discussion of intent to improve public infrastructure generally while making it less susceptible to effects of climate change. Agencies must “promote climate resilient investment that advances adaptation”. Policies and funding programs that are vulnerable to climate change should be reformed. Furthermore, the Chair of CEQ and Director of OMB should “consider issuing guidance for agencies to promote sustainable locations for Federal facilities and strengthen the vitality and livability of the communities in which Federal facilities are located.”

Finally, it is noted that EO 14057 should be implemented consistent with the Biden Administration’s existing policies on resilience, environmental justice, and equity: EO 13990, EO 14008, EO 14030, EO 13985, and EO 14017.

Publication Date: December 2021

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