How the public sector is accelerating climate action

Large, complex public programs require coordinated resources and expertise with the private sector

How the public sector is accelerating climate action

The public and private sectors are being confronted by citizen- and market-driven pressures to develop comprehensive climate strategies, decarbonize, respond to increasingly unpredictable weather events, and support inclusive growth.


The Biden Administration’s whole-of-government focus on climate action is poised to transform the functional and operational mandates of all federal agencies.

The scale of the White House’s climate objectives—including more than a 50 percent reduction in emissions by 2030, a carbon-pollution-free electricity sector by 2035, and a net zero economy by 2050,1 —is matched only by the Administration’s desire to achieve its parallel goals of promoting jobs, innovation, economic growth, and its Justice40 commitment to investing in disadvantaged communities.


Climate change has been central to the missions of agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for some time. In other agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture, an elevated focus on a changing climate will alter the operational landscape and may require reconsideration of entire programs.


All federal, state, and local governments need to understand how the climate crisis affects their mission and how their mission affects the climate. Building from that understanding, government can then act on climate change in a way that aligns with – and advances – their broader operational performance.

Successful implementation of large, complex public programs requires coordinating resources and expertise across multiple agencies and stakeholders in partnership with the private sector. To address these challenges, Deloitte has developed a framework and suite of tools, disciplines, and personnel dedicated to analyzing challenges and implementing solutions that benefit both the government agency and the future of the U.S. climate.

“The Deloitte framework promotes seamless interaction among key stakeholders, and helps the public sector successfully exercise new policy, institutional and analytical capabilities that would otherwise be challenging to put in place,” said Deloitte Consulting Managing Director Richard Longstaff. “How quickly agencies can identify and prioritize capability gaps, and partners to help address them, will determine the impact and effectiveness of the U.S.’s climate trajectory over the coming decades.”



The climate transition is not just about reducing emissions and mitigating risks; but also as an opportunity for federal, state, and local governments to invest for the future, improve resilience, create economic growth and jobs, and provide better services to citizens by:

  • enhancing climate data analysis and workforce and stakeholder engagement structures;
  • making infrastructure more adaptable and resilient to the effects of climate change;
  • accelerating the development and commercialization of carbon-mitigating technologies;
  • creating innovative public/private financing models to meet new investment needs and create jobs; and
  • planning, implementing, and measuring for improved climate equity outcomes across programs.


To meet the White House’s ambitious climate goals, the U.S. public sector must confront multiple challenges:

  • creating and coordinating the institutional, organizational, and data capabilities needed to manage an effective climate strategy;
  • mitigating the risks posed by a changing climate to people, assets; and operations;
  • prioritizing investments to reduce emissions and improve operational performance;
  • partnering with the private sector to accelerate new climate technologies and the innovative financing to pay for them; and
  • promoting equitable and inclusive growth.

“To address these challenges, Deloitte has invested in a team of climate professionals, analysts, and industry and financial specialists from both the public and private sectors to work to solve the climate challenges facing us today,” said Deloitte Consulting Principal Deborah Sills. “We researched and developed a multi-disciplinary Climate Framework of solutions and offerings designed to empower clients to accelerate effective climate strategy and leadership across four key climate transition areas.” To see the climate transition areas, click here and download the PDF “Accelerating climate action in the public sector.”


Deloitte’s track record:

Accelerating public sector climate action and impact

Deloitte is no stranger to applying a variety of solutions from the public and private sector to U.S. government climate-related issues.


Deloitte supported the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with the release of the National Risk Index (NRI), enabling federal, state, local, and tribal stakeholders to measure community-level social vulnerability and optimize public investments via a centralized, unified database that assesses 18 different environmental, socio-economic, and hazard risk factors.



Collaborating with the Department of Defense, Deloitte collated and analyzed more than one million operational data points to identify water and energy resilience gaps across a broad range of domestic and international facilities, and enhanced supply-chain security and mission resilience by designing and supporting the implementation of advanced and renewable energy solutions using third-party funding via mechanisms such as Enhanced Use Leases, Energy Savings Performance Contracts, and Utility Energy Services Contracts.


Using the organization MarketBuilder analytics platform, Deloitte is assisting the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) to implement a debt-financing instrument for a transformational processing technology that will help to secure the U.S.’s critical mineral supply chain and substantiate the deployment of federally funded debt financing instruments.


Together, public, private, and individual climate decisions over the next few years will define the future of the U.S.’s climate pathway. Bold and coordinated action is needed now to shift that trajectory in a sustainable direction that will reduce long-term risks and meet the U.S.’s global emissions pledges. Deloitte has committed resources across the organization to build on our track record and to develop a framework to assess the challenges of, and solve, the climate problems of today and tomorrow.


Richard Longstaff is a managing director; Deborah Sills, principal; and S.J. Maxted, a senior manager with Deloitte’s U.S. Public Sector Climate Action team. You can read Deloitte’s full study, “Accelerating climate action in the public sector” here. If you would like to learn more about Deloitte’s Government & Public Services (GPS) practice, please visit our career opportunities page.

Source: 1. The White House
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