Leonardo DeCaprio voiced his concern about climate change earlier today at the UN Climate Summit, addressing 120-odd presidents and prime ministers from across the globe. Although reining in global warming has become a political priority, governments are persistently averse to providing estimates of how much carbon a policy saves. DiCaprio urges governments around the world to take decisive, large-scale action. In my opinion, the strongest point made during the speech is more on a positive note, when DiCaprio elucidates why renewable energy is not only achievable, but also good economic policy. He argues: "the economy itself will die, if our ecosystems collapse." Few nations realize the demographic dividends to be reaped from a healthy population or the long -term benefits of a stable environment.
The key issue remains, the pre-emptive measures to mitigate the risks of climate come at a high price - China, America and the European Union spend $140 billion a year on subsidising renewable energy. But can we afford to - in DiCaprio's words - 'pretend' climate change is a fictitious problem? Can we afford to live on the tip of the iceberg, oblivious to the anthropocene? Can we afford to put a 'price tag' on the future of our planet?
Leonardo DiCaprio addressed world leaders assembled for the United Nations Climate Summit early Tuesday morning, urging them to take action to address "the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet." "As an actor, I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems. I believe humankind has looked at climate change in that same way," he said at the summit. "My friends, this body -- perhaps more than any other gathering in human history -- now faces that difficult task. You can make history... or be vilified by it." UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently appointed DiCaprio to serve as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, calling the actor a “new voice for climate advocacy." Both Ban and DiCaprio participated in Sunday's 400,000-strong People's Climate March in New York City.