Two women shaking hands after signing a document in front of the American flag.

Dr. Teresa Pohlman and Mary Sotos shake hands after signing the memorandum of understanding.

Leaders From Agencies Sign Partnership Aiming to Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Crisis and Cut Energy Costs at DHS Facilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Leaders from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today reaffirmed their joint commitment to collaborate on climate mitigation and adaptation at DHS facilities across the nation, signing a memorandum of understanding to leverage DOE capabilities to cut carbon emissions, increase resilience, and reduce energy usage and spending at DHS facilities across the nation. This agreement will get DHS closer to meeting President Biden's goal of net-zero emissions from Federal operations by 2050, including a 65% reduction by 2030. 

"Climate change remains a key priority of the federal government," said DOE Federal Energy Management Program Director Mary Sotos. "Through this partnership, DOE continues to assist DHS with meeting its energy and resilience-related goals. We support DHS in areas like facility and fleet optimization, as well as the use of contracts including energy savings performance contracts and utility energy service contracts."

"This memorandum harnesses the power of collaboration between DHS and DOE," said DHS Executive Director for Sustainability and Environmental Programs Dr. Teresa Pohlman. "Now more than ever we need to utilize the skills and resources available through DOE to continue our efforts improving infrastructure resilience, helping to sustain mission capabilities during disruptive events." 

Learn More about Climate Mitigation and Adaptation at DHS

Specifically, the memorandum solidifies a coordinated approach between the two departments aimed at mitigation of and adaption to the most catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis.

The memorandum serves as a framework under which both departments can engage in activities including:

  • Identifying best practices for decarbonization and resilience technologies and solutions
  • Defining climate adaptation and mitigation strategies
  • Strategizing on optimization initiatives
  • Providing associated technical support

This collaboration is part of a broader, government-wide approach to strengthen our national security posture, leverage innovative technologies, and protect the American people from the worst effects of the climate crisis. 

The memorandum grants DHS access to useful resources across DOE as well as significant opportunities for future cooperation between the departments. Under the partnership, DOE's Federal Energy Management Program will help the Department's carbon-footprint reduction efforts through technical assistance and training that will aid in:

  • Leveraging alternatively financed contracts
  • Conducting resilience assessments at facilities
  • Incorporating microgrids with renewable technologies
  • Identifying opportunities for achieving net-zero emissions
  • Identifying risks and vulnerabilities to infrastructure and real property due to climate change
  • Electrification of the DHS vehicle fleet
  • Installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure