Leonardo DiCaprio announced Tuesday that his foundation will give $20 million in grants to more than 100 environmentally focused organizations. The new grants, ranging from wildlife and habit conservation and combating climate change to the defense of indigenous rights, increase the organization’s total direct financial impact to over $80 million since 1998.
“These facts have been presented to the world time-and-time again for decades. Quite simply, we are knowingly doing this to ourselves, to our planet and to our future, and the cost of our inaction is becoming clearer,” DiCaprio said during a Yale Climate Conference hosted by John Kerry.
“Yet with all of this evidence – the independent scientific warnings, and the mounting economic price tag – there is still an astounding level of willful ignorance and inaction from the people who should be doing the most to protect us, and every other living thing on this planet.”
DiCaprio encouraged everyone to vote in midterm elections for political candidates who believe that climate change is real, and to support companies who provide climate-friendly products.
“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,” he said.
“What is missing in some countries is government policies that set bold goals and more leadership from the private sector, to reach out and grab hold of this tremendous opportunity, to be the drivers of innovation – to invest in these clean jobs and understand the economic potential for the future.”
DiCaprio also urged for a global shift from fossil fuels to 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.
“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. We must demand that politicians accept climate science and make bold commitments before it is too late.”
The grants were announced in six areas, including climate change, wildlife and landscape conservation, marine life and ocean conservation, innovative solutions, indigenous rights, and the California program.
“This round of grants comes at a critical time,” LDF CEO Terry Tamminen said. “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.”