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Pope Francis calls on collective responsibility ahead of climate summit

Pope Francis calls on collective responsibility ahead of climate summit
A handout picture provided by the Vatican Media shows Pope Francis during the weekly general audience in Paolo VI Hall, Vatican City on Wednesday. Photo by Vatican Media/EPA-EFE

Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Weeks ahead of COP26, Pope Francis insisted on individual and collective responsibility to act as stewards of the planet rather than masters of it.

During a video address on Wednesday to the Assembly of the Council of Europe debating "the environment and human rights," the pope also warned against modern consumerism.

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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe -- a high-level panel meeting in Strasbourg, France -- from Sept. 27-30, welcomed remarks from the pontiff.

He commended the convention as a contribution to COP26 and expressed support of a new legal framework linking care of the environment and fundamental human rights.

"Everything is connected, and as a family of nations we must have a common concern: to see that the environment is cleaner, purer and preserved. And take care of nature, so that it takes care of us," he said.

Pope Francis also tuned into the Youth4Climate summit in Milan where activists like Greta Thunberg are speaking.

He encouraged the youth to continue their efforts and said their vision "is capable of challenging the adult world," according to NBC News.

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