[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 197 (Friday, October 15, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 57404-57406]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-22266]





48 CFR Chapter 1

[FAR Case 2021-016, Docket No. FAR-2021-016, Sequence No. 1]
RIN 9000-AO33

Federal Acquisition Regulation: Minimizing the Risk of Climate 
Change in Federal Acquisitions

AGENCY: Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration 
(GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.


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SUMMARY: The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council is considering 
amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to ensure that major 
Federal agency procurements minimize the risk of climate change. DoD, 
GSA, and NASA are seeking public input on a potential FAR amendment.

DATES: Interested parties should submit written comments to the 
Regulatory Secretariat Division at the address shown below on or before 
December 14, 2021 to be considered in the formation of the proposed 

ADDRESSES: Submit comments in response to FAR Case 2021-016 to the 
Federal eRulemaking portal at https://www.regulations.gov by searching 
for ``FAR Case 2021-016''. Select the link ``Comment Now'' that 
corresponds with ``FAR Case 2021-016''. Follow the instructions 
provided on the ``Comment Now'' screen. Please include your name, 
company name (if any), and ``FAR Case 2021-016'' on your attached 
document. If your comment cannot be submitted using https://www.regulations.gov, call or email the points of contact in the FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate 
    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite ``FAR Case 2021-
016'' in all correspondence related to this case. Comments received 
generally will be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov, 
including any personal and/or business confidential information 
provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check https://www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission 
to verify posting.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Jennifer Hawes, Procurement 
Analyst, at 202-969-7386 or by email at [email protected], for 
clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or 
publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division at 
202-501-4755 or [email protected]. Please cite FAR Case 2021-016.


I. Background

    On May 20, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order (E.O.) 
14030, Climate-Related Financial Risk (May 25, 2021, 86 FR 27967). The 
E.O. recognizes that the intensifying impacts of climate change present 
a set of growing risks to financial assets, companies, communities, and 
workers. The Federal Government itself is exposed to these same risks. 
The failure to appropriately and adequately account for these risks 
threatens the financial and operational effectiveness of the Federal 
Government and its ability to meet the needs of its citizens.
    The E.O. states that the Federal Government should lead by example 
by appropriately prioritizing Federal investments and conducting 
prudent fiscal management. 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. To that 
end, section 5(b)(ii) of the E.O. directed the Federal Acquisition 
Regulatory Council, in consultation with the Chair of the Council on 
Environmental Quality and the heads of other agencies as appropriate, 
to consider amending the FAR 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.
    As stated in section 5(a) of E.O. 13990, Protecting Public Health 
and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, 
the ``social cost'' is an estimate of the monetized damages associated 
with incremental increases in greenhouse gas emissions (January 25, 
2021, 86 FR 7037). Interim estimates on the social cost of carbon, 
methane, and nitrous oxide under E.O. 13990 were published in February 
2021 and are available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/TechnicalSupportDocument_SocialCostofCarbonMethaneNitrousOxide.pdf. 
Recommendations from the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost 
of Greenhouse Gases established under E.O. 13990 on considering the 
social cost of carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide in procurement will 
also be considered in development of a proposed rule under this FAR 
    Current FAR coverage of greenhouse gas emissions is primarily in 
subpart 23.8 and the associated clauses in part 52, with definitions at 
2.101 and 23.001. FAR Case 2021-015, Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas 
Emissions and Climate-Related Financial Risk, implements section 
5(b)(i) of the E.O.; that paragraph requires consideration of a FAR 
amendment to require major Federal suppliers to publicly disclose 
greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risk and to set 
science-based reduction targets.

II. Request for Public Comment

    DoD, GSA, and NASA welcome general input from the public on a 
potential amendment to the FAR to accomplish the stated objectives. 
Respondents are encouraged to offer their feedback on the following 
    (a) How can greenhouse gas emissions, including the social cost of 
greenhouse gases, best be qualitatively and quantitatively considered 
in Federal procurement decisions, both domestic and overseas? How might 
this vary across different sectors?
    (b) What are usable and respected methodologies for measuring the 
greenhouse gases emissions over the lifecycle of the products procured 
or leased, or of the services performed?
    (c) How can procurement and program officials of major Federal 
agency procurements better incorporate and mitigate climate-related 
financial risk? How else might the Federal Government consider and 
minimize climate-related financial risks through procurement decisions, 
both domestic and overseas?
    (d) How would (or how does) your organization provide greenhouse 
gas emission data for proposals and/or contract performance?
    (e) How might the Federal Government best standardize greenhouse 
gas emission reporting methods? How might the Government verify 
greenhouse gas emissions reporting?
    (f) How might the Federal Government give preference to bids and 
proposals from suppliers, both domestic and overseas, to achieve 
reductions in greenhouse gas emissions or reduce the social cost of 
greenhouse gas emissions most effectively?

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    (g) How might the Government consider commitments by suppliers to 
reduce or mitigate greenhouse gas emissions?
    (h) What impact would consideration of the social cost of 
greenhouse gases in procurement decisions have on small businesses, 
including small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses, 
service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and Historically 
Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) small businesses? How should the 
FAR Council best align this objective with efforts to ensure 
opportunity for small businesses?

William F. Clark,
Director, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of 
Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.
[FR Doc. 2021-22266 Filed 10-14-21; 8:45 am]