Regulation Database – Council on Environmental Quality

Guidance on Consideration of GHG Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Reviews [withdrawn]

In August 2016, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released final guidance  for Federal agencies on how to consider the impacts of their actions on global climate change in their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews.  This final guidance provides a framework for agencies to consider both the effects of a proposed action on climate change, as indicated by its estimated greenhouse gas emissions, and the effects of climate change on a proposed action.  The final guidance applies to all types of proposed Federal agency actions that are subject to NEPA analysis and guides agencies on how to address the greenhouse gas emissions from Federal actions and the effects of climate change on their proposed actions within the existing NEPA regulatory framework.  Below is the guidance and related information, including a list of greenhouse gas accounting tools available to Federal agencies.

Related Documents:

Deregulatory Action: 

On March 28, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order directing CEQ to rescind the final guidance on climate change and NEPA reviews. On April 5, 2017, CEQ published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the withdrawal of the guidance.

Guidance on Federal GHG Accounting and Reporting

In October 2010, CEQ released Guidance on Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting that establishes Government-wide requirements for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with Federal agency operations. The guidance serves as the Federal Government’s official Greenhouse Gas Protocol and was used by Federal agencies to develop their GHG inventories. Federal agencies are required to submit GHG inventories annually beginning in January of 2011, as called for in the Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance (Executive Order 13514) signed by President Obama on October 5, 2009.

In June 2012, CEQ finalized an update to the guidance based on recommendations from an interagency work group co-chaired by the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program, the Department of Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Guidance for Federal Climate Change Adaptation Planning

On March 4, 2011, CEQ issued formal guidance to Federal agencies on the development of climate change adaptation plans, intended to assist those agencies in fulfilling the requirements of Executive Order 13514.  The guidance requires Federal agencies to draft adaptation policy statements by June 3, 2011 and to complete their adaptation plans by June 4, 2012.  Under the guidance, adaptation plans will be available for public review and comment. Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans released in 2013 included climate change adaptation plans for the first time.