The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Leonardo DiCaprio: 'Enough Is Enough' Corporate Greed Must Stop
DiCaprio was honored along with will.i.am, Yao Chen and Olafur Eliasson for making important contributions to improving the state of the world. He was recognized for his work in tackling climate change through his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and his position as an UN Messenger of Peace.
During his acceptance speech, DiCaprio urged world leaders to do more. "Last month in Paris, world leaders reached a historic agreement that provides a concrete framework to reduce carbon emissions," he said. "This was an important first step, but we are a long way off from claiming victory in this fight for our future and for the survival of our planet."
While traveling recently to film a documentary on the impacts of climate change, DiCaprio said he was "astonished to see that ancient glaciers" in Greenland and the Arctic are "rapidly disappearing well ahead of scientific models." In India, he saw farmers' fields devastated by unprecedented flooding. He said we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, urged business leaders to divest from fossil fuels and pushed for a rapid transition to renewables.
"We simply cannot afford to allow the corporate greed of the coal, oil and gas industries to determine the future of humanity. Those entities with a financial interest in preserving this destructive system have denied and even covered-up the evidence of our changing climate," he said. "Enough is enough. You know better. The world knows better. History will place the blame for this devastation squarely at their feet."
"Our planet cannot be saved unless we leave fossil fuels in the ground where they belong," he told the audience. "Twenty years ago, we described this problem as an addiction. Today, we possess the means to end this reliance.
"The challenge before us requires each and every one of us to take action. We owe this to ourselves, but more importantly to the future generations who are counting on us."
DiCaprio also announced that his foundation is pledging a new commitment of $15 million to environmental projects, including one that protects 6.5 million acres of rainforest on Sumatra in Indonesia from what DiCaprio described as the “invasive and destructive practices” of the palm oil industry.
Last week, DiCaprio won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role in The Revenant. In an interview with Charlie Rose prior to the Golden Globe awards ceremony, DiCaprio said the film was a "turning point" in his life and really drove home for him the need to take action on climate change. DiCaprio is nominated for an Oscar for The Revenant, which has 12 Oscar nominations in all—more than any other film this year.
Watch Leonardo DiCaprio's full speech here:
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
David Gilmour, guitarist, singer and songwriter in the rock band Pink Floyd, set a record last week when he auctioned off 126 guitars and raised $21.5 million for ClientEarth, a non-profit environmental law group dedicated to fighting the global climate crisis, according to CNN.
The Trump administration ratcheted up its open hostility to climate science in a move that may hide essential information from the nation's farmers.
Police have cleared 250 climate activists who stayed overnight at the Garzweiler brown coal mine in western Germany, officials said Sunday.
By Megan Jones and Jennifer Solomon
The #MeToo movement has caused profound shake-ups at organizations across the U.S. in the last two years. So far, however, it has left many unresolved questions about how workplaces can be more inclusive and equitable for women and other diverse groups.
By Tara Lohan
By now it's no secret that plastic waste in our oceans is a global epidemic. When some of it washes ashore — plastic bottles, plastic bags, food wrappers — we get a stark reminder. And lately one part of this problem has been most glaring to volunteers who comb beaches picking up trash: cigarette butts.
Andrea Rodgers, second from the right, takes notes during a hearing in the Juliana v. U.S. case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon on June 4. Colleague Elizabeth Brown sits to her left, while colleague Julia Olson sits on her right, with co-council Philip Gregory on Julia's right. Robin Loznak / Our Children's Trust
By Fran Korten
On June 4, Andrea Rodgers was in the front row of attorneys sitting before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court. The court session, held in Portland, Oregon, was to determine whether the climate change lawsuit (Juliana v. United States) brought by 21 young plaintiffs should be dismissed, as requested by the U.S. government, or go on to trial.