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College is first to be Kyoto Protocol compliant

(Portland, Ore.)--For the cost of a movie and popcorn for each student, Lewis & Clark College has become the first campus in the nation to comply with the greenhouse gas emissions targets called for in the Kyoto Protocol.

The achievement means that the campus has reduced emissions of the gases that contribute to global warming to 7 percent below what it produced in 1990. The reduction was achieved through the purchase of carbon dioxide offsets.

Offset projects reduce greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere and help mitigate climate change by funding efforts such as reforestation, green building practices or wind farms. The result is a cost-effective method that enabled Lewis & Clark College to minimize its net carbon impact. Students at the private liberal arts college spearheaded the effort. The cost to achieve compliance is estimated at $10 per student.

"Our goal was to demonstrate that individuals can make a difference in fighting global warming," said Laura Matson '05, an economics major from St. Louis Park, Minn. Students raised $16,400 to purchase carbon offsets through the Climate Trust, a Portland-based nonprofit organization that promotes climate change solutions by providing greenhouse gas offset projects and advancing offset policy.

"Offsets are an important tool in reducing our impact on the global climate," said Michael Ashford, deputy director of the Climate Trust. "Offsets enable more reductions to occur with already limited resources."

The College's achievement comes as a Senate vote is expected October 29 on the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act. The bill would cap emissions of the gases that cause global warming, but at a level below the Kyoto Protocol targets.

Matson, along with Brian Erickson '06, a biology major from Kirkwood, Mo., and Julian Dautremont-Smith, from Allentown, Pa., an environmental studies major who graduated last May, inventoried the amount of campus emissions, suggested m
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Contact: Tania Thompson
taniat@lclark.edu
503-768-7961
Lewis & Clark College
24-Oct-2003


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