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Gonzaga University Pledges Zero Emissions As 'Moral Imperative'

Jessica Robinson
Northwest News Network

SPOKANE, Wash. - Leaders at Gonzaga University are asking What Would Jesus Do about climate change? The Jesuit school in Spokane, Wash., has adopted a plan for zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.

Over the next four decades, Gonzaga University plans to make a dramatic switch to green energy, some of it generated at new facilities on campus. Meeting the goal will also require major cuts in energy use. Car travel to campus by students and faculty, and Zags basketball trips to away games are all part of the final emissions tally.

Brian Henning teaches philosophy at the university and helped develop the plan. He says Gonzaga sees climate change as a moral issue.

“It's really become a critical part of our Jesuit Catholic identity and mission," Henning says. "The poor in particular will be most affected by climate change in this century. So the people least responsible for causing it are going to end up suffering the largest consequences.”

Henning says the university also plans to incorporate themes of environmental stewardship across academic disciplines.

On the Web:

Climate Action Plan (Gonzaga University)