News & Media



Oberlin Joins Climate Positive Development Program

Mar 03, 2010

A joint initiative of the Clinton Climate Initiative and the U.S. Green Building Council

OBERLIN, OHIO -- The Oberlin community—college and city— will be joining the Climate Positive Development Program, a joint initiative of the Clinton Climate Initiative, a program of the William J. Clinton Foundation, and the U.S. Green Building Council. There will be a formal announcement and celebration of the partnership on Thursday, March 4, in Oberlin College’s Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies. The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. with remarks by representatives from the college, the city, and the Climate Positive Development Program as well as a signing of the memorandum of understanding, and will be followed by a reception at 4:00 p.m.

Launched in May 2009 by President Clinton, the Climate Positive Development Program supports the development of large-scale urban projects that demonstrate that cities can grow in ways that are climate positive—able to reduce the amount of on-site CO2 emissions to below zero.

“I am excited about the unique partnership involving a city and a college that is driving Oberlin’s participation in the Climate Positive program," said Ira Magaziner, Chairman of the Clinton Climate Initiative. “Oberlin joins 17 other leading projects around the world that will help to set new standards in urban developments. Over the coming years, it will implement a number of economically viable innovations across its buildings, energy generation, waste management, water, outdoor lighting, and transportation systems in order to achieve Climate Positive goals.”

“Oberlin College and the Oberlin community are uniquely positioned to demonstrate all the advantages of being ‘climate positive.’ Long a leader in LEED and green building, they have the technical expertise and the community engagement that will make this initiative a success,” said USGBC SVP Scot Horst. “As an Oberlin alum, I’m particularly proud about their involvement in this important program.”

This new partnership will prove instrumental in the implementation of the Oberlin Project, a planned green redesign of the Oberlin community. The project is a collaborative effort between the college and the city that has involved more than a dozen community meetings. The vision of the project joins the many strands of sustainability—urban revitalization, green development, advanced energy technology, sustainable agriculture, green jobs, and education—into an integrated response to the burgeoning crisis of climate destabilization, environmental deterioration, and economic turmoil.

“Recognition by the Clinton Climate Initiative and U.S. Green Building Council for the work we are doing, to be singled out as a leader in sustainable development, is invaluable,” said Paul Sears Professor of Environmental Studies David Orr. “Oberlin is the perfect-size community to serve as a vehicle of change. It’s large enough to be significant and a model for other communities, but small enough to be able to act quickly and get things done.”

At the heart of the Oberlin Project is the revitalization of a 13-acre block near the city center that will include the development or renovation of a dozen buildings during the next five to seven years. The investment in construction, renovation, and energy technology is intended to stimulate the expansion of existing businesses and create new enterprises.

“Through the Climate Positive Development Program, the city will collaborate with local, national, and international partners to be a model of sustainable development,” said Oberlin City Manager Eric Norenberg. “This will spark economic development opportunities that will benefit Oberlin, our neighboring communities, and, I believe, all of Lorain County.”

The Oberlin Project will receive strategic support from the Climate Positive program on a variety of fronts, including the creation of a Climate Positive greenhouse gas metric and measurement standard as well as project technical support, business and financial analysis, and partnership facilitation.

One desired outcome of the Oberlin Project is the establishment of sustainable business opportunities. “Oberlin is already home to four firms working on innovative solar and wind energy technologies,” said Norenberg. “More will come as Oberlin becomes known as a destination for green jobs in the areas of renewable power supply and green development.”

For more information about the Climate Positive Development Program, visit the program’s section of the Clinton Climate Initiative web site.

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Media Contacts:

Scott Wargo

Director of Media Relations

Oberlin College


Olivia Ross

PR Director

Clinton Climate Initiative

Tel: + 44 (0)7944 931 775


About the Clinton Climate Initiative
The William J. Clinton Foundation launched the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to create and advance solutions to the core issues driving climate change. Working with governments and businesses around the world to tailor local solutions that are economically and environmentally sustainable, CCI focuses on three strategic program areas: increasing energy efficiency in cities, catalyzing the large-scale supply of clean energy, and working to measure and value the carbon absorbed by forests. In each of these programs, CCI uses a holistic approach to address the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions and the people, policies, and practices that impact them. CCI serves as the action arm of the C40, an association of large cities around the world that have pledged to accelerate their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more about the work of the Clinton Climate Initiative and the William J. Clinton Foundation, please visit

About U.S. Green Building Council

The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

With a community comprising 78 local affiliates, more than 17,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 131,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.

Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.

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Oberlin College
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The Media Relations division of Oberlin's Office of Communications provides news of the College to the media and the public. We also publicize upcoming events at Oberlin and help journalists, authors, filmmakers, and broadcasters find resources on the Oberlin campus.

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