Hollywood actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio has been appointed by United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon as a UN climate representative, and is to open the approaching climate talks later this month, in New York.
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The actor’s global stardom “was the perfect match for the global challenge posed by climate change,” said Ki-moon, at a press conference earlier this week.
DiCaprio has been an active supporter of projects aimed at reducing climate change, donating millions of dollars to causes all over the planet – including $7 million (£4.1m) over the next two years to help overcome the “systematic devastation” of the world’s oceans and fisheries.
DiCaprio has also held auctions where profits have gone to similar projects, including $38.8m (£25.5m) for animal conservation efforts.
The star of Titanic, during a press conference discussing his environmental activities confirmed his inspiration to donate to climate change causes was after diving off the coast of Australia in the Great Barrier Reef – which is currently under threat from an expansion of the $16 billion (£8.9bn) Carmichael coal mine.
Ban Ki-moon also confirmed that the star will be opening the UN Climate Conference, set to take place in New York on September 23. The event is intended to promote talks between the world’s nations ahead of a Paris conference being held in 2015, where a unilateral decision will have to be made in attempt to contain the damaging effects of climate change through emission reductions.
Both Indian and Chinese leaders have confirmed that they will not be attending the key talks later this month.
Photo source: Christopher William Adach via flickr