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Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced a Department Administrative Order (DAO), directing the Department to integrate climate considerations into its policies, strategic planning, and programs. This historic DAO also establishes the Department of Commerce Climate Council to coordinate and oversee the implementation of this DAO, as well as provide specific recommendations to the Secretary on addressing the climate crisis.

“Addressing the climate crisis has been a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration, and at the Department of Commerce we have been working tirelessly to use every tool at our disposal to help address this crisis and related economic impacts. As we celebrate Earth Day, I can think of no better time to formalize, highlight, and support that work through this DAO,” said Secretary Raimondo. “The Commerce Department is prepared to leverage all of its bureaus, and our dedicated workforce, to ensure this administration and communities across the nation have the data, tools, and resources they need to mitigate the impacts of climate change while building a better, more resilient, America.”

“The climate crisis is an equity crisis, plain and simple. We have watched as the extreme weather events associated with climate change have wreaked havoc on our most vulnerable communities. This devastation has been compounded by other systemic injustices, such as lack of affordable healthcare and housing. As Chair of the Department of Commerce Climate Council, I look forward to working with the dedicated public servants right here at Commerce to tackle these issues head on,” said Deputy Secretary Don Graves. “Thanks to President Biden, the United States has renewed its leadership position on tackling climate change, from rejoining the Paris Agreement to committing to cutting greenhouse gas emissions 50-52 percent below 2005 levels in 2030. This DAO is part and parcel of these ambitious goals, and we will continue to do the necessary work in achieving them.”

This DAO builds upon efforts taking place across the administration, including an announcement the Secretary made yesterday alongside the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget regarding the initiation of the first U.S. national system of natural capital accounts and standardized environmental-economic statistics

The DAO is issued in accordance with Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, which President Biden issued on January 27, 2021. Specifically, the DAO states that it is the policy of the Department to incorporate climate considerations, including mitigation measures, adaptation and resilience measures, and environmental justice measures into its policies, strategic planning, and programs.

It also establishes the DOC Climate Council to oversee the implementation of the policy and highlights ongoing climate actions by bureau. The Council’s key responsibilities will be:

  • Advancing and overseeing the policies prescribed in this Order, including, but not limited to, the identification of specific climate considerations for Departmental offices and operating units, and the development of specific climate-related policies, action plans, or program activities;
  • Identifying specific deliverables for the Department’s operating units;
  • Coordinating the Department’ s broader climate work, including on White House-directed initiatives;
  • Disseminating any updated direction on addressing the climate crisis from the White House or Department leadership; and
  • Further developing the Department’s strategic direction as it relates to climate, as appropriate over time.

For more information on this Department Administrative Order, please see here.

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