To reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change, two voluntary programs encourage participants to set emissions reduction goals. The Climate Leaders Program, managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), focuses on firms. The Climate VISION (Voluntary Innovative Sector Initiatives: Opportunities Now) Program, managed by the Department of Energy (DOE) along with other agencies, focuses on trade groups. GAO examined (1) participants' progress in completing program steps, the agencies' procedures for tracking progress, and their policies for dealing with participants that are not progressing as expected; (2) the types of emissions reduction goals established by participants; and (3) the agencies' estimates of the share of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions that their programs account for and their estimates of the programs' impacts on U.S. emissions.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Energy||To ensure that the Congress and the public have information with which to evaluate the effectiveness of these voluntary programs and to increase the opportunities for contributing to the President's emissions intensity reduction goal, DOE should develop a system for tracking participants' progress in completing key steps associated with the program.|
|Environmental Protection Agency||EPA and DOE should develop written policies establishing the consequences for not completing program steps on schedule.|
|Department of Energy||EPA and DOE should develop written policies establishing the consequences for not completing program steps on schedule.|