Cupich says Chicago Archdiocese will act on climate change

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich says he’s heeding Pope Francis’ call to action on climate change.

He appeared Friday with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to announce that the Archdiocese of Chicago is the first in the nation to commit to tracking energy and water use and pollution emissions.

He says the archdiocese will invest in energy-saving initiatives at all 2,700 of its buildings, and noted that several already have solar panels and green roofs.

Cupich says the church and all Americans owe it to future generations to “leave behind a planet that’s vibrant and thriving.”

Cupich’s comments come about a month after Pope Francis released an encyclical on climate change, saying it poses a threat to the planet and most deeply affects the poor.