Celebrities and politicians have joined tens of thousands of protesters on the streets of New York for what is being billed as one of the world’s largest climate change marches.
Leonardo DiCaprio, who last week was named as the United Nations Messenger of Peace on Climate Change, took part alongside fellow actors Mark Ruffalo, Ed Norton and Evangeline Lilly and the singer Sting.
From the world of politics, Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, Al Gore, the former vice president turned climate change protester, and New York Mayor Bill di Blasio gathered with what organisers said were as many as 100,000 fellow protesters under grey skies in Central Park.
Serving as the kickoff for the 10th annual Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York, the 8th annual Citizen Awards
Leonardo DiCaprio, the actor and United Nations envoy, has told world leaders gathered to discuss the “crisis” of climate change that they have an opportunity to “make history or be vilified by it.”
The Titanic and Wolf of Wall Street star spoke at the opening of the UN Climate Change Summit, where nearly 200 presidents and prime ministers, including David Cameron and Barack Obama, are due to pledge action to tackle global warming.
He told delegates: “This body, perhaps more than any other gathering in human history, now faces this difficult but achievable task. I beg of you to face it with courage. You can make history or be vilified by it.”
Calling for an end to tax breaks for oil, gas and coal companies, DiCaprio went on: “They don’t deserve our tax dollars, they deserve our scrutiny. For the economy itself will die if our ecological system collapses.
“As an actor I pretend for a living, I play fictional characters. I believe that mankind has looked at climate change in that same way, as if it were a fiction. None of this is rhetoric and none of it is hysteria; it is fact.”
Last week, DiCaprio was named by Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, as a UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change. On Sunday he played a prominent role in a 300,000-strong march through the streets of Manhattan to raise awareness of the topic. Other climate change protests were held around the world.
The Climate Change Summit was convened by Mr Ban during the annual gathering of the UN Assembly in New York.
DiCaprio said that the “climate change crisis” was now so severe that it was beyond the scope of individuals to tackle the problem, and that industries and governments now needed to take the lead.
“Solving this is not a question of politics, it is a question of our own survival,” he told the delegates. “I pretend for a living but you do not.
“The people made their voices heard around the world and the momentum will not stop.”
Mr Ban told the assembled gathering: “I grew up poor in war-torn Korea. I dreamed of peace, I dreamed of prosperity, I dreamed of opportunity.
“Sitting here today, in so many ways a dream come true. But today the dreams of people throughout the world hang in the balance.
“Climate change threatens hard-won peace, prosperity, opportunity for billions of people. But today we must set the world on a new course.
“Climate change is a defining issue of our age. Our response will define our future. To ride this storm we need all hands on deck.”
Mr Cameron and President Obama are due to address the Summit later today. Mr Obama is expected to unveil a range of measures to help poorer countries tackle the effects of climate change.
In the past, the US has been criticised for failing to take a lead on climate change issues, but President Obama is said to want to change the perception of America being a block to finding a solution to tackling global warming.
I’ve added a few photos of Leo accepting his award, enjoy!
A huge congratulations to Leo, so proud of him!
Leonardo DiCaprio has been tapped by the United Nations to be honored with the title of Messenger of Peace, and the actor has been asked to speak on Sept. 23 at the U.N. Climate Summit to address the topic of climate change, the international organization announced on Tuesday.
“It’s an honor to accept the role of UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change and to support the Secretary General in his efforts to address one of the most important issues we face as a global community,” said DiCaprio in a statement. “I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history – it is a moment for action. How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet.”
Climate change may be the political topic most closely associated with The Wolf of Wall Street actor, who has regularly made headlines for his commitments to addressing the issue.
In February, DiCaprio pledged a donation of $3 million to marine conservation and followed with an additional $7 million pledge several months later. On Sept 21, two days before the U.N. Climate Summit in New York, the Clinton foundation will honor the actor for his committed environmentalism during a Manhattan gala event featuring Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.
Other Hollywood industry notables that have been bestowed the Messenger of Peace title by the U.N. in recent years include Edward Norton, Michael Douglas, Charlize Theron, George Clooney and Stevie Wonder.
“United Nations Messengers of Peace/Goodwill Ambassadors are distinguished individuals, carefully selected from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life, who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the United Nations,” reads the statement explaining the selection process on the U.N. site.
The Clintons will honor Leonardo DiCaprio later this month for the actor’s environmental work, the Clinton Global Initiative announced.
Along with DiCaprio, the president of Kosovo and others will be honorees at the foundation’s 10th annual meeting, which will open Sept. 21 with the Clinton Global Citizen Awards, the organization said.
“Collaboration and turning ideas into action are core to the ethos of the Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation,” Chelsea Clinton told The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the event Wednesday. “Hollywood, likewise, relies on collaboration to bring creative visions to life and has been an excellent partner to the foundation across a number of our efforts.”
DiCaprio, who has been praised by Secretary of State John Kerry for his work on climate awareness, recently narrated a short film promoting the need for a carbon tax.
Former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton are all expected to attend the Manhattan event, which will be hosted by NBC’s Seth Meyers. President Barack Obama is also expected to attend, as are Matt Damon and philanthropist Melinda Gates.
Presenting the awards will be former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Eva Longoria and music producer Randy Jackson. The evening will also have musical performances by a number of artists, including The Roots, Jason Mraz and Aloe Blacc.
Celebrity ice bucket challenge videos have filled news feeds across America for weeks. Fortunately, at least a few of those willing public figures aren’t just talking the good deed talk — they’re opening their thick wallets to combat ALS, too.
Actors Leonardo DiCaprio and David Spade have donated more to the ALS Association than any other celebrities, according to the organization. ALSA confirmed to The Huffington Post that each star donated $100,000 to fight the neurodegenerative disease that affects about 30,000 Americans at any given time.
“People have responded with such generosity it is truly remarkable and we couldn’t be more appreciative,” Barbara Newhouse, president and CEO of the association, said in a statement released Aug. 29. “These donations will truly help fuel our fight against ALS in ways that were never before possible.”
DiCaprio and Spade are two of four individuals who gave gifts of $100,000, the association said. John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile U.S., and Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Cruise Lines, also gave gifts equaling that amount.
Hello from Lake Athabasca. We’re here learning about the Canadian tar sands. We took a moment to join the #IceBucketChallenge movement in support of the ALS Association. My friends Chief Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation challenges Dave Collyer, president of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Chief Courtoreille of the Mikisew Cree First Nation challenges Mark Little of Suncor Canada, and The Sierra Club President Michael Brune challenges Shell CEO Ben van Beurden.
And me? In addition to a donation from my foundation, I challenge Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Oscar-nominated star Leonardo DiCaprio is in Fort McMurray to research a documentary about the oil sands, according to several media reports.
“He wanted to hear about and see — first-hand — the oilsands and their impact on the planet,” an anonymous source close the Hollywood actor told the Edmonton Journal.
DiCaprio has been an active environmental advocate and recently narrated a series of documentaries about climate change.
Leonardo DiCaprio held his first annual Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gala in Saint-Tropez, France. Spotted among 500 guests were Marion Cotillard, Petra Nemcova, DiCaprio’s model girlfriend Toni Garnn, fashion designer brothers Dean and Dan Caten and Joan Collins. New besties Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne stepped off the luxury yacht they’ve been vacationing on nearby to attend.
It is always encouraging to hear when celebrities raise money for the good of our planet. The Leonardo DiCaprio foundation has announced that it raised a whopping $25 million for environmental causes at a charity auction in France.
“Not since the age of the dinosaurs have so many species of plants and animals become extinct in such a short period of time,” DiCaprio said in a speech, as quoted by La Prensa. ”The good news is there are solutions to these massive problems. Efforts like tonight will start addressing them.”
And the effort certainly helped. Guests paid between $7,000 and $130,000 to attend the event, and attendees included Joan Collins and Marion Cotillard. The auction, which included 500 guests, began with a bidding on a Harley Davidson motorcycle owned by DiCaprio and signed by him as well as Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. A Picasso sold for $1 million (paid by South African tycoon Patrice Motsepe), and Bono’s guitar also sold for $1 million. And then, Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik must have really loved the environment (or at least the art piece) to offer $6 million for a sculpture by British artist Damien Hirst.
DiCaprio created his foundation in 1998 in collaboration with environmental experts and leaders, in order to support the conservation of forests and oceans, protect biodiversity, and try to limit the effects of climate change. The actor is known for contributing large amounts to help the planet; in 2013, he donated a $3 million grant to the WWF for the conservation of tigers in Nepal.