Leonardo DiCaprio really didn't need any help cementing his position as one of the world's leading environmental advocates, but the United Nations decided to go ahead and make it official anyway.
On Tuesday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named the 39-year-old as its newest "Messenger of Peace," praising his longstanding commitment to environmental causes and tasking him with assisting the United Nations with addressing the climate crisis.
“Mr. DiCaprio is a credible voice in the environmental movement, and has a considerable platform to amplify its message,” said Ban in a statement. “I am pleased he has chosen to add his voice to U.N. efforts to raise awareness of the urgency and benefits of acting now to combat climate change.”
One of DiCaprio's first duties in his new role will be to address the Climate Summit on Sept. 23 in New York City. The event will discuss a global reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting deforestation and urging more financial support for green solutions.
“It’s an honor to accept the role of U.N. Messenger of Peace on Climate Change and to support the Secretary General in his efforts to address one of the most important issues we face as a global community,” said DiCaprio. “I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history – it is a moment for action. How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet.”
DiCaprio's big moment in the front of the United Nations next Tuesday will be preceded by another prestigious honor on Sunday evening, as the Clinton Global Initiative honors the actor with its Global Citizen Award for his environmental activism. All of these accolades come on the heels of a hiatus from acting that has seen DiCaprio raise tens of millions of dollars for the environment, including a recent gala in France that raised $25 million and a charity art auction last year that brought in close to $40 million. In addition to millions committed through his foundation to groups like Oceana and Save the Elephants, the actor is also working in partnership with Tobey Maguire and Tom Hardy on two big-budget Hollywood dramas focused on the animal poaching crisis.
All of which is to say, these honors are well-deserved. We look forward to hearing DiCaprio's speech next week. For more details on the schedule of events, jump here.
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