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Catholic Institutions Leading on Climate Solutions

By Anita Fete Crews
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At Monday’s  U.N. World Food Day Ceremony, Pope Francis received a standing ovation after calling on the world’s governments to take action on the interconnected issues of climate, hunger, and migration. “It is clear that wars and climatic change are a cause of hunger, so let’s not present it as if hunger is an incurable disease,” the Pope said during his opening remarks. As with his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Sí, the Pope urged world leaders to call for a change in lifestyle and the use of resources, saying “we cannot make do by saying ‘someone else will do it’”.

Watch the inspiring video of Pope Francis’ speech here.

In response to the Pope’s call to action in Laudato Sí, two important Catholic-led efforts were announced recently that demonstrate meaningful faith in action to address climate change.

Catholic Energies (CE) Program

Catholic Climate Covenant, a Blessed Tomorrow partner, announced the national launch of its Catholic Energies (CE) program to help eliminate waste from Catholic facilities (churches, schools, dioceses, hospitals and other organizations) through energy projects that reduce energy costs.

“Our vision is to make the U.S. Catholic Church the most energy efficient religious organization in the world, “ says Dan Misleh, founding executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant. “In this way, we will rise to meet the challenges outlined in Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, and be witness to the communities in which we minister.” 

Examples of program components include providing Catholic facilities with the ability to invest in energy efficiency projects to reduce energy waste; buy cleaner, less expensive energy; and install renewable energy and storage systems to minimize dependence on the grid. The savings through these measures can be used instead for programming to advance core mission activities.

To learn more about the program, please visit Catholic Energies for information, resources, and news.

40 International Catholic Institutions Divest from Fossil Fuels

As the Catholic church prepared to observe the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a coalition of forty Catholic institutions spanning five continents announced they would divest from fossil fuel companies to take a moral stand toward sustainable energy sources.

The Pope cited St. Francis, known for his love of nature, in Laudato Sí, and urged faithful action on climate solutions to care for our common home. This is the largest of a growing number of Catholic divestments from fossil fuels to date and in response to Pope Francis’ call to action.

Read more from the Global Catholic Climate Movement.