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Forest Grove sustainability summit a real gas

Greenhouse gas emissions research part of second meeting on climate change at Pacific University


Piggybacking on an initial gathering last fall, a second sustainability summit at Pacific University in Forest Grove on Saturday drew about 30 people interested in creating community goals related to climate change.

Four Pacific students, all of whom work for the Center for a Sustainable Society, led small groups inside Marsh Hall during the event, one of three planned summits, said center Director John Hayes.

"The goal of the summits is to come up with a climate action plan for Forest Grove" that includes input from city officials, business owners and residents, Hayes said. The first summit occurred in October 2012, and a third is planned later this spring.

Students Fallon Harris, Johanna Wood, Conor Peterhans and Kiersten Iwai helped attendees focus on issues of environmental sustainability, with an eye toward six areas the climate plan will eventually address: transportation and planning; waste and recycling; social equity; food; renewable energy; and green buildings.

Iwai, who interned with the City of Forest Grove last summer and continues to work there part-time, used protocol from the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (iclei.org) to calculate the city's greenhouse gas emissions, Hayes noted.

Students and summit-goers "developed some great strategies for reducing Forest Grove's carbon footprint, and at some point we will incorporate those into a (plan) draft for distribution and comment," said Hayes.

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