Federal Sustainability Plan

Accompanying the issuance of Executive Order 14057 was the release of the Federal Sustainability Plan. The Federal Sustainability Plan includes goals related to both “Climate Resilient Infrastructure and Operations” and goals intended to “Advance Environmental Justice and Equity.” As far as building climate resilient infrastructure and operations, the plan intends to “routinely assess climate vulnerabilities and risks;”  “modernize Federal policy, programs, operations, and infrastructure to support climate resilient investment;” and “establish the Climate Adaptation and Resilience Federal Leaders Working Group.” With respect to advancing environmental justice and equity, the plan aims to “include a Federal expert on environmental justice on the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer Council,” “incorporate environmental justice efforts in annual agency sustainability plans and climate adaptation and resilience plans,” “target investments in environmental justice communities,” and “reinforce equity in Federal contracting and operations.”

The Federal Sustainability Plan aims “to prepare Federal agency policy, programs, operations, and infrastructure to adopt adaptive and resilient strategies for future climate impacts.” Agencies must develop adaptation and resilience plans, identifying their most significant risks and actions to manage them. Annual updates should be provided and must be provided every four years after the release of the National Climate Assessment. CEQ and OMB will monitor these reports to improve effectiveness.

Federal policies, programs, operations, and infrastructure will be modernized to support climate resilient investment. This includes developing and revising policies and programs, conducting climate-informed analysis and planning, developing and enhancing tools, and maintaining awareness of the best available research. Finally, the CEQ Chair will establish a Climate Adaptation and Resilience Federal Leaders Working Group to advance agency coordination, learning, and implementation in key areas.

There are also many equity considerations in the Federal Sustainability Plan. For instance, the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer Council will advise the OMB Director and CEQ Chair on the implementation of the President’s Federal Sustainability Plan. On that Council will be a Federal expert in environmental justice. Agencies' annual sustainability plans and climate adaptation and resilience plans will incorporate environmental justice efforts. Agencies should consider incorporating Justice40 Initiative goals. They should assess how Federal investments might be made with the goal of 40% of the overall benefit flowing to disadvantaged communities. Equity should be reinforced in Federal contracting and operations, especially through implementation of E.O. 13985.

Publication Date: December 2021

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  • Adaptation plan

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