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Obama calls for world leaders to heed Pope Francis’s message

President Obama and Pope Francis (CNS)

The President of the United States has said he wants fellow world leaders to reflect on Pope Francis’s encyclical.

Laudato Si’, published yesterday, called for humanity to change its approach to the environment and the way it judged progress.

Barack Obama spoke of the responsibility that his own job title brings in leading the way towards a change in global environmental policy.

“I welcome His Holiness Pope Francis’s encyclical, and deeply admire the Pope’s decision to make the case – clearly, powerfully, and with the full moral authority of his position – for action on global climate change,” he said.

“As we prepare for global climate negotiations in Paris this December, it is my hope that all world leaders and all God’s children will reflect on Pope Francis’s call to come together to care for our common home.

“We have a profound responsibility to protect our children, and our children’s children, from the damaging impacts of climate change.”

In September the Pontiff will be travelling to the United States for the first time.

His trip will begin in Washington where he will meet Obama and speak at Congress.

Also echoing Obama’s sentiment was the United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon.

He said he believed a “new dialogue” had to be opened regarding the future of the planet.

He said: “It is an issue of social justice, human rights and fundamental ethics.”

Ban Ki-moon will also be addressing the United Nations General Assembly in September to celebrate the body’s 70th anniversary.

A statement by a United Nations spokesman said: “The secretary-general therefore urges governments to place the global common good above national interests and to adopt an ambitious, universal climate agreement in Paris this year.

“The secretary-general welcomes the contributions of all religious leaders and people of influence in responding to the climate challenge and in strengthening sustainable development.”