Star actor Leonardo DiCaprio is leading the fight on global warming after joining over 100,000 people on the streets of New York ahead of this week’s U.N. climate change summit. Similar demonstrations were held in major cities all around the globe, with over half a million protestors out to show their support for one of the world’s most pressing issues.
DiCaprio was joined by other Hollywood stars including Mark Ruffalo, Ed Norton and Evangeline Lilly. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore also took part in the demonstration, along with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will be chairing the summit on Tuesday. In the U.K, actress Emma Thompson joined a crowd of 40,000 as they paraded through the street of London.
DiCaprio’s long-time support for the need for climate change has recently been noticed by the United Nations. Ban Ki-moon has recently announced the appointment of the actor as the U.N.’s newest Messenger for Peace. The Secretary-General has hailed the Hollywood star as the world’s “new voice for climate advocacy,” and stated that his biggest focus will be climate change issues. According to Ban-Ki-moon, DiCaprio’s “global stardom is the perfect match for this global challenge.”
The star actor has also been noted for his environmental activism on previous occasions. DiCaprio will be honored at the Clinton Global Citizen Awards this coming Sunday, thanks to his work with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which focuses primarily on environmental issues.
DiCaprio has certainly taken his newly appointed role to heart. During a tour of the U.N. Headquarters he expressed his views that climate change was one of the most important world issues of our time. The Hollywood star also congratulated Ban Ki-moon on gathering so many world leaders together in the effort to combat global warming.
The last time climate change took centre stage was in Copenhagen, 2009, a conference that was widely regarded as a failure. The resulting lack of a substantial plan to tackle global warming disappointed many smaller countries and allowed heavily polluting nations to continue without real political pressure to stop them. Since then, climate change has taken a backseat behind pressing world issues throughout the Middle-East and other areas.
The U.N. summit this Tuesday will draw leaders from 125 countries around the world. Ban Ki-moon has invited all nations to make their commitments to climate change public in the hope that this will put pressure on leaders to bring realistic and effective strategies to the table. Nations are expected to announce actions that will reduce emissions and create finances for action against climate change.
Now that global warming is back on the drawing board DiCaprio is leading the fight against climate change. The actor shares the opinion of many world citizens that climate change is an immediate issue, one that must involve massive cooperation on a global scale. According to DiCaprio, the world is at a “pivotal turning point.”
One of the actor’s first duties as messenger for peace will be to address the U.N. summit. DiCaprio will lead the fight on climate change before 125 world leaders this coming Tuesday. His address will carry with it many of the hopes of those who marched in cities around the world last Sunday.
By Mathew Channer