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Pope Francis on Sunday — when Hurricane Dorian began pounding the Bahamas with record strength — urged the world to heed calls made by rising youth and indigenous peoples to take swift action to address the climate crisis and thereby ensure "our common future."

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Pope Francis is being challenged to go vegan for Lent in exchange for a $1 million donation to a charity or charities of his choice.

The aim of the Million Dollar Vegan campaign—led by 12-year-old activist Genesis Butler of Long Beach, California—is to inspire people to "help fight climate change with diet change," according to a press release for the initiative.

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Pope Francis urged the leaders of big oil companies to see the light on climate change at a first-of-its kind conference held at the Vatican with oil executives, investors and Vatican experts, The Guardian reported Saturday.

"Civilisation requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilisation," the pope said during remarks at the end of the conference, according to The Guardian.

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The Earth could use some climate-change-fighting superheroes right about now. And according to a new comic series by the nonprofit Amplifier, there are a few real-life ones in our midst.

Thirteen of them, actually.

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This was a year of tug-of-war for the environment. With Donald Trump becoming president of the U.S. at a time when wildfires, hurricanes, and floods were devastating the country, it was challenging for scientists, activists and concerned citizens to get their voices heard. But several stood out as global leaders on climate and helped give rise to those who were silenced. Below are 14 of the most notable influencers of 2017 and how they fought for a cleaner, safer environment for all.

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Pope Francis issued a strong message to negotiators at the COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany on Thursday, warning them not to fall into "four perverse attitudes" regarding the future of the planet—"denial, indifference, resignation and trust in inadequate solutions."

Francis, who has long pressed for strong climate action and wrote his 2015 encyclical on the environment, renewed his "urgent call" for renewed dialogue "on how we are building the future of the planet."

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By Andrew McMaster

Speaking at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on World Food Day, Pope Francis addressed the need for governments around the world to acknowledge that climate change and migration were leading to increases in world hunger.

Francis received a standing ovation after a stirring speech in which he said all three issues were interrelated and require immediate attention.

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Firefighters continue to battle against 17 wildfires that have burned more than 220,000 acres in California, Cal Fire announced in a Friday update.

The death toll from the Northern California blazes has risen to 31, the deadliest week for wildfires in the state's history.

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350.org / Flickr

Wednesday, a coalition of 40 faith institutions on five continents have jointly just announced their divestment from fossil fuels. This is a big moment for both the global divestment movement and faith community, and we need to keep this momentum going strong.

This commitment well and truly quadruples the one announced in May, when nine Catholic organizations divested. We need to celebrate it and also seize the opportunity to build upon this moment.

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2014 Pastoral Visit of Pope Francis to Korea. Flickr/Republic of Korea

Pope Francis once again spoke out against climate change deniers during an in-flight press conference from Colombia to Rome on Sunday.

As the papal plane flew near Caribbean islands pummeled by Hurricane Irma, the pope said that those who reject climate science remind him of a psalm from the Old Testament about stubbornness.

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Long Thiên/Flickr

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the head of the Orthodox Christian Church, issued a joint statement to mark the third annual "World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation" on Friday.

The religious leaders appealed to those in positions of power to "hear the cry of the Earth and to attend to the needs of the marginalized."

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