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Diocese of Lexington sets goal to achieve net zero carbon footprint

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Apr 23, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Following Pope Francis's lead nine years ago, who urged churches worldwide to take action, the Diocese of Lexington is implementing a plan to have all 59 of its church facilities have a net zero carbon footprint by 2030.

“Work together to preserve our common home,” Bishop John Stowe said while paraphrasing Pope Francis’ message from nearly a decade ago.

The Bishop was speaking from Lexington’s Roman Catholic Diocese on a sun-splashed morning, during which the partnership with Edelen Renewables was unveiled.

Adam Edelen will chair a task force to determine what needs to be done to meet the deadline.

“The first is the size and depth of the footprint,” he stated. The second is determining options for getting to net zero, and the third is paying for it.”

Mr. Edelen is a former public auditor in Kentucky and served as chief of staff to former Governor Steve Beshear. His focus has shifted from politics to a topic that’s become highly politicized between Republicans and Democrats over the years. He hopes that the global influence of the church will get everyone on board with the changes he feels need to be made to keep the planet safe.

“The Bishop has a plan for taking our work and including that in the sermons that are delivered in each of these individual parishes, and I know he has a plan for bringing the full weight and influence of the church and its members to help meet the climate challenge,” Edelen said.

Bishop Stowe might be able to do that, but the clock is ticking. 2030 isn’t that far off.

“It is realistic, but it’s also aggressive,” Edelen said of the plan and timeline. “If we’re going to meet the challenge, then people of faith, people who care about each other, and people who care about the environment have got to get to work because time is not on our side,” Edelen said.