Notre Dame to reduce carbon footprint after pope's plea

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By: Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The University of Notre Dame plans to reduce its carbon footprint by more than half over the next 15 years in response to Pope Francis’ plea for bold action to curb climate change.

Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John Jenkins, will announce Monday in a statement obtained by The Associated Press that the university will stop burning coal within five years. It also will reduce its emissions by using more natural gas in the near term and by developing other energy sources.

Notre Dame plans to spend $113 million on items including a hydroelectric project on the St. Joseph River, solar power and geothermal fields, which would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 47,500 tons.

The pope has called the state of the environment a central moral issue of our age.