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Oberlin aims to wipe out emissions with efficiency measures, renewable purchases

From the March 4, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published March 4, 2013

The city of Oberlin, Ohio, plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 100 percent by 2050, according to a Climate Action Plan the public power community completed in 2012.

The city devised the plan after beginning a membership with the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives in 2007. The city agreed to carry out five steps, the third of which was to develop the Climate Action Plan. But first, the city performed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and set targets for reducing its emissions.

The inventory determined that the city emitted 174,391 tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent in 2007, about 20.9 tons per capita. About 67 percent of the emissions are estimated to come from municipal facilities while about 38 percent are estimated to come from the city’s commercial sector.

The city then set goals of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent of 2007 levels by 2015, by 75 percent by 2030 and by 100 percent by 2050. According to the Climate Action Plan, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends an 80 percent reduction from 1990 greenhouse gas levels by 2050.

Oberlin’s Climate Action Plan project was supported by a $4,000 scholarship from APPA’s DEED (Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments) program. Details of the research are published in the final report for the project, which is posted in the DEED Project Database.

A more detailed news story about the project appears in the winter issue of the DEED Digest. The DEED Project Database and DEED Digest newsletter are both available to all DEED-member APPA utilities.


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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
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