Last weekend, actor Leonardo DiCaprio accepted the Clinton Global Citizen Award in New York for his environmental efforts. DiCaprio accepted the award from World Wildlife Fund CEO Carter Roberts, and reportedly urged the public to donate to environmental causes in his acceptance speech.
“Now more than ever nature needs a voice. Leonardo DiCaprio is that voice,” Roberts said. The actor has been very active in helping the create momentum for climate change awareness initiatives. DiCaprio also participated in the People’s Climate Change march in New York over the weekend with fellow stars Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo, Sting, and Evangeline Lilly.
“Climate change is compromising the very livability of our planet,” DiCaprio said, according to US Magazine. “Less than three per cent of all philanthropic giving goes toward protecting and preserving our environment,” he said, before urging people “to put environmental issues at the forefront of the human agenda.”
Serving as the kickoff for the 10th annual Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York, the 8th annual Citizen Awards honors outstanding individuals in civil society, philanthropy, public service and the private sector who show global citizenship. DiCaprio has never claimed to be an expert or scientist, but rather gave his speech as a “concerned citizen” and as someone who “pretends for a living.” He went on in his speech to say that the disaster has now grown beyond just telling people to change their light bulbs or buy hybrid cars, and now needs to taken to government levels.
In his speech the actor added, “the world is now at a turning point, and climate change is the defining issue of our time. […] The task before us to protect this planet will require the largest movement in human history. It will have to cross all cultural, religious and political boundaries. But the good news is the solutions are ready, and with leaders like the ones in this room who do not shrink in the face of crisis. They can rise, they can inspire and they can contribute. And that truly is the best hope of planet Earth.”
In addition to last weekend’s environmentally-focused activities, DiCaprio recently spoke about climate change at the UN, as well as narrated a short documentary about environmental issues called Carbon.