As noted in our COP27 recap, this year’s climate summit in Sharm el-Sheik involved both the historic creation of a fund to compensate countries most impacted by climate change, as well as lost opportunities to adopt more ambitious and accelerated climate mitigation commitments. Perhaps hidden between these headlines, President Biden announced an initiative with significant implications for federal contractors. Under this proposal, the United States would become the first country to require major government suppliers and contractors to set science-based emissions reduction targets aligned with the Paris Agreement. It would also require contractors to disclose their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate risks.
This initiative—the proposed Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule—would have wide-reaching impacts if ultimately finalized. Collectively, the proposed rule would cover about 86 percent of the federal government’s supply chain GHG impacts and 86 percent of federal annual spending. To put this in perspective, in the last fiscal year alone the United States purchased $630 billion in goods and services.
The comment period for the proposed Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule closes on January 13, 2023. The proposed compliance requirements for major contractors would start two years after publication of a final rule. If promulgated, this rule may be challenged in court along the lines of the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors.