The United Nations brought in a ringer for the Paris Agreement signings in New York today, presumably for if things started getting dull. Long suffering nominee-turned Academy Award winner-at last, Leonardo DiCaprio gave a rousing speech before assembled world leaders about how now is the crucial time to take action against climate change.
At first it seemed to be a generic speech about how we must all come together and do something, and it sort of was, but he also had some good points given the context. After all, the Paris Agreement events today are largely symbolic — the nations don’t even have to sign today, and even if they do, the signing doesn’t bind them to any actual legal action until they subsequently ratify and begin to act on the terms.
He also said our grandchildren will be ashamed of us if they learn that we had the power to curb climate change here and now but lacked the political will to make it happen. Which, hard to argue with that.
Here’s video of DiCaprio’s speech to the UN today:
“Our planet cannot be saved unless we leave fossil fuels in the ground where they belong.” Also an excellent point. Continue, Leo.
“No more talk, no more excuses, no more 10-year studies,” he said, working the room as only a newly minted Oscar winner can. “This is the body that can do what is needed, all of you sitting in this very hall. The world is now watching. You will either be lauded by future generations or vilified by them.” Then he quoted Lincoln for a bit, which is usually a good move.
It was essentially a sequel to his Academy Award speech, to an audience very demographically different but certainly no less friendly. The UN should really trot him out for five minutes at all its events.
Today’s speech wasn’t a first for the actor. DiCaprio last addressed the United Nations in September 2014 as a “UN Messenger of Peace” at the opening of the Climate Summit that year: