President Barack Obama continued to use his executive authority to mitigate global warming Thursday with an executive order for federal agencies that was quickly endorsed by Honeywell, General Electric, Northrop Grumman and several other major U.S. companies.
After the president signed an executive order to cut the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent over the next 10 years from the time he took office in 2008, Honeywell announced it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 10 percent by 2019.
Thursday marked the third time Honeywell made its proactive approach of reducing harmful emissions public. In 2011, the company hit the first publicly announced target of reducing greenhouse gases by more than 30 percent from a 2004 baseline. It then ramped up its efforts and achieved an additional 15 percent per dollar of revenue reduction from 2011 levels in 2014, reaching that goal three years ahead of schedule.
On Thursday, Obama praised companies that had stepped up to the plate on the issue. “You guys have done an outstanding job. Because of the prominence of many of the companies here, and the fact that they’ve got a whole bunch of suppliers up and down the chain, what you do with respect to energy efficiency is going to have a ripple effect throughout the economy,” The New York Times quoted Obama as saying at a round table discussion with industry leaders in Washington.
A “ripple effect” would be voluntary, but the federal government has some market-shaping clout. It owns 360,000 buildings and a fleet of 650,000 vehicles. It also spends $445 billion per year on goods and services, the Times reported.
Nuclear fuel producer Honeywell is a prime example of a company affected by global warming on both sides of the counter. Not only is Honeywell aiming to reduce its own greenhouse gasses, but nearly 50 percent of its portfolio is dedicated to energy solutions.
The White House is also attempting to reshape the energy market by targeting its purchases of energy. Within a decade, the federal government will increase purchases of energy from renewable sources to 30 percent of what it buys. This will, at least nominally, provide a guaranteed market for manufactures of wind turbines and solar panels.
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