Leonardo DiCaprio donates enormous $20m to combat climate change

By Kalendra Withana,

Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio has announced that he will offer $20m in environmental funds to help tackle the detrimental effects of climate change.

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, initially set up by the actor in 1998, has given more than $80 million to worthwhile environmental causes.

This current contribution made by DiCaprio marks the largest ever donation his foundation has made. It is anticipated that more than 100 organisations who specialise in environmental protection are going to benefit from this large sum of money.

This news was first heard at a climate change conference at Yale University where DiCaprio had conveyed a speech in.

"We are proud to support the work of over 100 organisations at home and abroad," he said.

"These grantees are active on the ground, protecting our oceans, forests and endangered species for future generations - and tackling the urgent, existential challenges of climate change."

"Our challenge is to find new ways to power our lives, employ millions of people and turn every individual into an advocate for clean air and drinkable water," he added.

Credit - Hartford Courant 

The actor then introduced a political agenda into his speech, urging people to vote for candidates in the midterm elections that believe that climate change is a real issue.

"We must demand that politicians accept climate science and make bold commitments before it is too late."

“What all politicians in every nation on earth need to know is this: we have the technology to meet 100% of our energy needs from clean, renewable, cost-effective sources that are available right now,” DiCaprio stated.

DiCaprio also made reference to a meeting he had with President Trump before last year’s US election. In this meeting, it is believed that the actor introduced Trump to a plan that will combat climate change. Due to the President’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, it is clear that Trump disregarded DiCaprio’s intentions.

“I still believe that the United States has the potential to lead the world on this issue,” stated the actor. “We can only hope that the President begins to see it too, before it is too late.”

DiCaprio’s speech also emphasised the importance of converting the world’s fossil fuels into renewable energy. “There exist today many proven technologies in renewable energy, clean transportation, and sustainable agriculture, that we can begin to build a brighter future for all of us,” he said.

Speaking on behalf on the donation, LDF CEO Terry Tamminen said: “This round of grants comes at a critical time,”

“With a lack of political leadership, and continued evidence that climate change is growing worse with record-breaking heatwaves and storms, we believe we need to do as much as we can now, before it is too late.”

It is reported that the grants are going to target areas such as the United States, Somalia, Kenya and the Amazon.

Furthermore, the grants are altogether announced in six areas – including indigenous rights, wildlife and landscape conservation, marine life and ocean conservation, innovative solutions, climate change and the California program.

Sources – Sky News, Variety, people.com 

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