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Creighton University president among Catholic leaders to declare “we are still in” on the Paris climate agreement

Campus NightCreighton University President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, was among four Catholic leaders announcing this morning (June 18, 2018) that “Catholics are still in” on the Paris Climate Agreement. The declaration affirms the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, and echoes the U.S. bishops’ disappointment with the Trump administration’s intended withdrawal.

Hendrickson, along with hundreds of Catholic leaders, as well as more than 60 college and university presidents, signed the Catholic Climate Declaration. Among those making the announcement this morning with Hendrickson was Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates, the Bishops’ liaison to the Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC), a D.C.-area nonprofit created in 2006 by the Bishops’ conference. 

“As a Jesuit, Catholic institution, Creighton University embraces the Church’s social mission to continue Jesus’ ministry of love in the world,” said Hendrickson. “We especially affirm the Catholic teaching that climate change is an urgent moral issue which threatens human life and dignity, unjustly burdens the poor, and damages our common home.”

In response to this challenge, Creighton University signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2010 and set a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Since then, the University has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions from purchased electricity by nearly 25 percent – an achievement that has saved the University more than $2 million.Creighton also installed solar and wind collection systems on campus that produce up to 120 kilowatts of clean, renewable energy and save the University $24,000 annually.

Alongside these operational changes, Creighton has also founded the Sustainability Studies Program, established the Office of Sustainability Programs and incorporated ecological sustainability throughout the Creighton University Strategic Plan that will guide the University over the next decade.

“As president of Creighton University, I am therefore proud to join the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, as well as 22 other Jesuit colleges and universities, as a signatory to the Catholic Climate Declaration. The U.S. Catholic community stands in solidarity with our bishops and the Holy Father, and together affirms the Paris Agreement and actions to meet its goals,” said Hendrickson.

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