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Celeste Meiffren-Swango,
Environment Oregon

Environment Oregon unveils plan to guide University of Oregon and other campuses toward 100% renewable energy

For Immediate Release

Eugene -  Today, Environment Oregon Research and Policy Center, touting the leadership role that colleges and universities must play in the clean energy revolution, unveiled a 10 point plan to guide campuses toward 100 percent renewable energy. Renewable Energy 101: Ten Tools for Moving your Campus to 100% Clean Energy, includes a series of factsheets highlighting 10 key tools to help campuses with building a 100 percent clean, renewable energy system.

“Colleges and universities across the country are situated to lead the charge in the transition to a 100 percent clean energy future,” said Celeste Meiffren-Swango, Director of Environment Oregon Research and Policy Center. “University of Oregon and other campuses in Oregon have the ability and the know-how to lead by taking bold steps to shift to clean energy and eliminate pollution from energy use. We hope that the ten point plan laid out in these fact sheets can help.”

According to a recent report by Environment Oregon Research and Policy Center, colleges and universities serve more than 20 million students and spend more than $15 billion per year on energy-- so bold commitments to clean energy can drive big investments in solutions. At the same time, as influential institutions, actions taken by higher education institutions can set an example in hundreds of communities across America; while training the scientists, engineers, policymakers and civic leaders we need to move the nation toward sustainability.

"With our federal government abandoning climate leadership at a critical time, it’s up to all of us to make up the difference,” said United States Senator Jeff Merkley. “We must act at every level to set a bold goal of 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050 or sooner, and set in motion immediate actions to get us there. America’s colleges and universities can and should lead the way, and I’m thrilled to see Environment Oregon roll out this blueprint for action at the University of Oregon today.”

Environment Oregon, in collaboration with its national network, Environment America, and the Student Public Interest Research Groups, have campaigns for 100 percent renewable energy on dozens of campuses across the country.

“Oregon’s institutions of higher education can be at the forefront of the nation’s rapid shift to clean, renewable energy,” said Will Northington, a University of Oregon sophomore studying Environmental Science and Public Policy. “That’s why OSPIRG Students are excited to be working with the campus community at U of O this year to build support for a big shift to clean energy and setting goal of meeting all of our energy needs with clean renewable resources.”

Clean energy and energy efficient technologies are growing fast and getting cheaper, making them more accessible. In the past 10 years, the United States has seen a 43-fold increase in solar power and a seven-fold increase in wind power, while the average American now uses 10 percent less energy.

“Working to achieve 100 percent renewable energy on colleges and universities allows us to train young activists, future leaders and researchers to continue advocacy on clean energy off campus and in their communities,” said Meiffren-Swango.