Federal Manager's Daily Report

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The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council is soliciting information and comments on incorporating climate change considerations into federal agency procurements through new language in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, the council said in an October 15 Federal Register notice.

The notice is a response to a Biden administration executive order on climate change stating that the federal government should lead by example. “One critical lever is ensuring that the federal government manages climate-related financial risk within its own procurement activity, while also leveraging its scale as the nation’s largest spender to speed the adoption of key assessment, disclosure, and mitigation measures across the private sector,” the notice says.

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Potential changes to the FAR would seek to “ensure that major federal agency procurements minimize the risk of climate change, including requiring the social cost of greenhouse gas emissions to be considered in procurement decisions and, where appropriate and feasible, giving preference to bids and proposals from suppliers with a lower social cost of greenhouse gas emissions.”

It adds that while the FAR already contains provisions on greenhouse gas emissions, recommendations from an interagency group created under that order on consideration of the “social cost of carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide in procurement will also be considered in development of a proposed rule.”

It asks for input on issues including how greenhouse gas emissions can best be qualitatively and quantitatively considered in federal procurement decisions; methods of measuring the greenhouse gases emissions over the lifecycle of the products procured or leased, or of the services performed; how the government might consider and minimize climate-related financial risks through procurement decisions; and more.

The notice sets a 60-day comment period and includes instructions for commenting.

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