US invests $2 billion for lower-carbon construction at federal buildings

(Reuters, 7 Nov 2023) The Biden administration on Monday said it will invest $2 billion in 150 federal building projects across 39 states that use materials that minimize carbon emissions, its latest effort to tackle climate change through government purchasing power.

The General Services Administration will prioritize the purchase of asphalt, concrete, glass and steel produced and disposed of with lower levels of associated greenhouse gas emissions that meet a standard for environmental products.

"The U.S. government has a huge share of the market -particularly of concrete and asphalt- and that I think helps drive the industry towards meeting an ever increasing level of innovation when it comes to decarbonizing," John Podesta, senior adviser to President Joe Biden, told Reuters.

Podesta oversees the implementation of the administration's Inflation Reduction Act, which provides over $3 billion to the GSA to invest in buildings to reduce carbon emissions. He said the investments will help to tackle emissions from sectors that are among the hardest to decarbonize.

Podesta and GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan announced the investments during a visit to Topeka, Kansas, where a federal building and courthouse will receive $25 million of the $2 billion in planned investments to retrofit the facility to make it more energy efficient.

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Reuters, 7 Nov 2023: US invests $2 billion for lower-carbon construction at federal buildings