The White House is launching a new interactive speaker series to educate the federal workforce about the climate and sustainability and the president’s Federal Sustainability Plan.

“Through this series, employees will enhance their sustainability and climate literacy, learn more about the President’s Federal Sustainability Plan and their critical role in the shift to more sustainable and resilient operations,” the Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer explains on its website.

The series kicks off Jan. 19 with its first speaker, Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist who currently holds the position of distinguished professor and endowed chair in Texas Tech University’s political science department. She is also the chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy and has written several climate change reports, including the most recent U.S. National Climate Assessment.

The webinar series is organized by the Office of the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, which is part of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and leads efforts to advance sustainability and climate resiliency in federal operations.

The office plans to have four webinars over the course of the year, although it hasn’t announced speakers for any of the other dates.

While it’s free to attend the webinars, space is limited and advance registration is required. Those unable to attend can watch recordings on the office’s YouTube channel.

The initiative comes a month after President Joe Biden issued his Federal Sustainability Plan, an executive order that outlines his plans to use federal infrastructure to tackle climate change. Under the plan, the government will work to reduce emissions across federal operations while investing in clean energy. The White House lists five major goals for the initiative:

  • 100% carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) by 2030, at least half of which will be locally supplied clean energy to meet 24/7 demand;
  • 100% zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) acquisitions by 2035, including 100% zero-emission light-duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027;
  • Net-zero emissions from federal procurement no later than 2050, including a Buy Clean policy to promote using construction materials with lower embodied emissions;
  • A net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045, including a 50% emissions reduction by 2032; and
  • Net-zero emissions from overall federal operations by 2050, including a 65% emissions reduction by 2030.

“To accomplish our goals, we will transition our federal infrastructure to zero-emission vehicles and energy efficient buildings, powered by carbon pollution-free electricity. We will improve the federal government’s preparedness and resilience to the effects of our changing climate. And we will do so in ways that promote economic and environmental equity for all Americans,” the president said in a letter to federal workers.

Nathan Strout was the staff editor at C4ISRNET, where he covered the intelligence community.

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