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Pope to leaders: Take drastic action now on climate change

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - JANUARY 16: Pope Francis waves to thousands of followers as he arrives at the Manila Cathedral on January 16, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. Pope Francis will visit venues across Leyte and Manila during his visit to the Philippines from January 15 - 19. The visit is expected to attract crowds in the millions as Filipino Catholics flock to catch a glimpse of the leader of the Catholic Church in the Philippines for the first time since 1995. The Pope will begin the tour in Manila, then travelling to Tacloban to visit areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan before returning to Manila to hold a mass at Rizal Park. The Philippines is the only Catholic majority nation in Asia with around 90 percent of the population professing the faith. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is urging governments to show the “political will” to take drastic steps to deal with climate change and says it’s time to abandon dependence on fossil fuels.

Francis issued the appeal in a message Sunday, Sept. 1, the start of several weeks of prayer by Christians to raise political awareness about pollution and exploitation of natural resources.

He also wants people to reflect on “thoughtful and harmful” daily decisions about consumption and “self-centered” attitudes toward Creation.

Francis said that at the U.N Climate Action Summit later in September, “governments will have the responsibility of showing the political will to take drastic measures” to achieve as quickly as possible zero net greenhouse gas emissions and to limit average the average increase in global temperature in line with the Paris climate accords.

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