Leonardo DiCaprio has been using his celebrity to raise awareness of the problem of climate change. The actor knows that climate change is one of the largest problems facing the world today and has taken a number of steps to convince others that the time to take action is now. Here are some of the ways that Leo is working to change the hearts of minds of an all too often apathetic public:
The People’s Climate March
The actor joined many other celebrities, including Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo, Evangeline Lilly, and Sting in New York for the what was billed as the world’s largest march against climate change. An estimated 310,000 marchers joined the celebrities and similar marches were held around the world. Along with a more traditional moment of silence, marchers participated in what was dubbed a “moment of alarm”, in which protestors were encouraged to be as noisy as they could. The march took place along a two-mile route, culminating in midtown Manhattan on 34th street.
The event came just before members of the UN were scheduled to meet and discuss climate change. Leonardo, who was recently named United Nations Messenger of Peace on Climate Change, also went to the U.N. to discuss the issue there.
Address to the UN
Leonardo attended the UN event for the signing of the Paris Agreement and gave an impassioned speech to the members of the body encouraging them to take action on climate change immediately. Appropriately, the speech fell on Earth Day. The actor told members of the governing body that it is too late for individuals alone to make a difference:
“To be clear, this is not about just telling people to change their light bulbs or to buy a hybrid car. This disaster has grown BEYOND the choices that individuals make. This is now about our industries, and governments around the world taking decisive, large-scale action,” he said.
DiCaprio told the assembled delegates that we must take action now against the use of fossil fuels and embrace clean energy solutions if we are going to make the needed impact against the damage that man has done to the planet. He explained that clean energy was not only good policy for the planet but also good economic policy. He ended the speech with this passionate plea:
“Honoured delegates, leaders of the world, I pretend for a living. But you do not. The people made their voices heard on Sunday around the world and the momentum will not stop. And now it’s YOUR turn, the time to answer the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet … is now.”
Before the Flood
Leonardo worked in collaboration with a group of filmmakers to produce Before the Flood, a documentary on the problem of climate change. The film made its debut at the Toronto Film Festival in September of 2016 before getting a theatrical release that October and eventually airing on the National Geographic channel. To show their commitment to addressing the problem of climate change, National Geographic made the documentary available for free at several outlets. The film is available in over 45 languages and had been viewed over 2 million times the day after its release.
Leonardo serves as the host of the film, traveling all around the world to talk to climate experts about the scope of the problem and to discuss solutions that can be undertaken now to minimize the effects of climate change going forward. The film also examines changes that are already happening around the world as a result of the changing climate and discusses how we as individuals can help while we wait for the world’s governments to take the necessary action.