Tips For Reducing Your Impact
Save Gas, Save Energy
Keep your tires properly inflated. Every pound underinflation uses 6% more gas. And tune up your car. A poorly tuned car can use 25% more gas.
Catholic Climate Covenant
After decades of steady progress in reclaiming and advancing the Catholic Church’s efforts to embrace an ethic of environmental stewardship, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change launched an unprecedented and historical campaign, the Catholic Climate Covenant, to take responsibility for our contribution to climate change and do what we do best: be advocates for those who will be left out of the public policy debate on climate change.
In 1990, Pope John Paul II issued his landmark World Day of Peace Message: Ecological Responsibility. That pastoral letter pumped new life into a growing movement within the Catholic Church which had already begun to look back to the stories of Creation, define correctly and responsibly the notion of “dominion” and “stewardship.” The letter also examined Jesus’ teachings about care for Creation and care for poor people, recalled beloved Catholic saints, especially St. Francis of Assisi, and led to the institutionalization of Care for Creation into the work of the Catholic bishops’ conference and many other faith communities.
In 1991, the U.S. bishops followed the Holy Father’s lead and wrote, Renewing the Earth: An Invitation to Reflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic Social Teaching. In 1993 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops established the Environmental Justice Program with the help of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment which formed around the same time.
Today the great gift of God’s Creation is exposed to serious dangers and lifestyles which can degrade it. Environmental pollution is making particularly unsustainable the lives of the poor of the world … we must pledge ourselves to take care of creation and to share its resources in solidarity.
— Pope Benedict XVI
The early days of that effort focused on promoting the bishops’ statement, offered small grants to parishes and dioceses, sought collaboration with other national Catholic organizations, and worked on public policies that helped to advance superfund legislation, brown fields reclamation efforts, tracking environmental hazards in low-income communities and the impacts of those hazards on poor people, and advance new regulations on mercury emitted from coal-fired power plants.
In the late 1990s, the bishops turned their attention to climate change, and in 2001 published the landmark pastoral letter, Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good. This was among the first and most comprehensive statements on climate change by any faith group and proved to be an invaluable resource that began the promotion of a clear and unique contribution of the Catholic community to the climate change debate.
In 2006, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change was launched with the support of both the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change supports and complements USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development (formerly, the Department of Social Development and World Peace) and the bishops’ Environmental Justice Program. The Coalition is a membership organization consisting of twelve national Catholic organizations that offers advice and assistance in implementing its programs.
The Coalition has also focused its work on providing a forum to explore the issues and faith implications of climate change through hosted hearings around the country. It also works to connect Catholics by staying in touch with state and diocesan leaders who are promoting climate change activities and partners with other national Catholic organizations to assist them in connecting the issue of climate change within their institutions.
The Coalition also promotes participation and partnerships between Catholic dioceses and Catholic organizations to develop programs at the local level often by offering small grants.
Through articles, workshops, and presentations, the Executive Director encourages U.S. Catholics to learn more about climate change and the Catholic approach, which emphasizes the pursuit of the common good, promotion of the virtue of prudence and the protection of the poorest of our brothers and sisters already suffering disproportionate impacts from climate change.
The Coalition sends regular updates to its growing database of interested Catholics and others of goodwill to keep them informed of its activities and current events. Find the recent and previous updates from CCCC at www.catholicsandclimatechange.org.
With the help of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment and the full support and cooperation of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Coalition launched The Catholic Climate Covenant: The St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor on April 22, 2009.