CNT Lays Out Its Zero Emissions Transportation Plan for Oberlin Stakeholders

Oberlin's enthusiasm for alternative transportation and environmental stewardship have made it a laboratory for big ideas throughout its history.  Photo courtesy of Oberlin College Archives

Oberlin's enthusiasm for alternative transportation and environmental stewardship have made it a laboratory for big ideas throughout its history. Photo courtesy of Oberlin College Archives

Can a town completely eliminate its greenhouse gases produced by transportation by 2050?  It’s a bold goal and one that CNT is presenting a roadmap for today at the “Northern Ohio’s Clean Energy Future” conference in Oberlin, Ohio. As part of a three person panel on “Community Wide Energy Transformation,” we will recommend actions big and small to bring the town of Oberlin to that zero carbon goal—from a new bike lane to the grocery store to a regional transit system that makes it possible to live in Oberlin without a car. Hosted at Oberlin College, the event will be attended by US Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Oberlin Distinguished Professor David Orr, and other political and policy leaders across Ohio and the nation.

We generated these big ideas as part of our Energy Efficient Transportation Plan for Northern Ohio that was completed in August. We created a roadmap for Oberlin to achieve a 25 percent reduction in emissions below 2007 by 2015, 75 percent reduction by 2030, and zero emissions by 2050. Transforming Oberlin into a zero carbon transportation community will not happen overnight. It will require thousands of individual decisions by individual actors—decisions to walk to the store instead of driving, to buy an electric car to replace an old gasoline model, to share rides or cars with neighbors, to combine trips to the store and travel less. It will also require significant community leadership to develop the infrastructure and policies necessary to enable households and business to build Oberlin’s economy without relying on fossil fuels. The report recommends 10 policy strategies to work towards those goals.