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Creighton Joins Jesuit Institutions in Campaign to Reduce Climate Change

Creighton Joins Jesuit Institutions in Campaign to Reduce Climate Change

Creighton University is among the more than 70 Jesuit schools, parishes, communities and organizations across the nation committing themselves to an unprecedented campaign to help reduce climate change which disproportionally impacts the poor and vulnerable. As part of the Ignatian PeaceAction, students from Jesuit schools, parishioners from Jesuit churches and Jesuit communities have committed to pray and act on climate change issues with a particular emphasis on mitigating the negative effects of climate change on the poor.

The following is an excerpt from the national news release from the Jesuit Conference of the United States.

“The effects of climate change, such as those caused by natural disasters like flooding and droughts, have the greatest negative consequences for those who are the poorest, “said Jesuit Father Jim Stormes, secretary for social and international ministries for the Jesuit Conference of the United States. “And the potential solutions for reducing the changes we are making on the environment have costs associated with them that disproportionally impact those who are least able to take on the additional financial burden. When considering the possibilities to reduce climate change, the Church always tries to bring the voice of the poor to the discussion.”

In a poll released April 21, 2009 by Zogby International, 55 percent of the 1,100 U.S. Catholics polled agreed that climate change is a serious problem with two-thirds agreeing that while all of causes of global warming may not yet be understood, action must be taken now to lessen its impact. 94% of those surveyed said they have or are willing to act on behalf of reducing global climate change and believe that doing so is consistent with their faith.

With the theme “Peace with Creation”, this year's Ignatian PeaceAction supports and promotes the St. Francis Covenant to Protect Creation and the Poor, sponsored by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. Participants come from all sectors - from Christian Life Communities to Jesuit high schools, universities, parishes and from Jesuit communities. They have agreed to pray together for a more sustainable relationship with creation and for those impacted by changing climate, reflect on the Church's teaching about environmental stewardship and assess their lifestyles for ways to reduce their carbon footprint on the planet.

The St. Francis Covenant to Protect Creation and the Poor campaign is directed by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, a collaborative partnership of national Catholic organizations including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Jesuit Conference of the United States, Catholic Charities, USA, Catholic Relief Services and others.

For the students at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., the Center for Service & Justice has started a year-long campaign calling on students and faculty to consider the simple ways that they can each individually make a difference and find ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

“At Creighton, we are working with facilities management on a sustainability awareness campaign targeting undergraduate dormitories and apartment residences along with offices campus-wide. Simple activities like walking to campus or riding a bike instead of driving, turning off computers and lights and even taking shorter showers - all of these small things can collectively make a big difference in the resources that we consume at our university,” said Chadi El-Khoury, student coordinator at the Center for Service & Justice at Creighton University. “Though Americans make up just four percent of the world's population, we produce 25 percent of the carbon dioxide pollution from fossil-fuels. But this pollution doesn’t just impact us; it affects everyone on the planet via the effects of global warming.”

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Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.