We are the ‘last generation’ that can stop climate change, warns Leonardo DiCaprio

The third annual gala for Leonardo DiCaprio's eponymous charity raised $45m for environmental causes on Wednesday night (20 July), with the Hollywood actor warning that this generation has been given the "last chance" to combat climate change.

We are the ‘last generation’ that can stop climate change, warns Leonardo DiCaprio

DiCaprio lauded the signing of the Paris Agreement

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation welcomed celebrities including Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bono to Saint Tropez on the French Riviera in an effort to boost support for the Foundation’s mission of preserving wildlife and protecting the lives of those who inhabit the earth.

“While we are the first generation that has the technology, the scientific knowledge and the global will to build a truly sustainable economic future for all of humanity—we are the last generation that has a chance to stop climate change before it is too late,” DiCaprio said.

“The destruction of our planet continues at a pace we can no longer afford to ignore. I am proud to support these organisations who are working to solve humankind’s greatest challenge.”

Nearly $45m was raised at the event, which also honoured those affected by the Bastille Day attacks in Nice – an event similar to the Paris attacks that almost stopped the Climate Accord in December.

DiCaprio lauded the signing of the Paris Agreement, which took place in April, as well as highlighting the Foundation’s successful initiatives such as contributing to the first population increase of native Nepalese tigers in more than 100 years and restoring degraded coastland in Somalia. The Foundation also contributed to the establishment of the first moratorium on newly built Indonesia palm oil plantations.

Efforts and Oscars

The actor, who pledged to divest his personal wealth and charitable foundation’s fund from fossil fuels last year, founded the charity in 1998. Since then the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has contributed more than $59m in funding for global environmental projects.

In February this year, DiCaprio ended a 22-year wait to claim an Oscar and used his acceptance speech to urge people across the globe to act on the “urgent threat” of climate change.

As well as announcing plans to create “the world’s most sustainable island resort“, which will push the boundaries of green design, architecture and eco-tourism, DiCaprio has also been announced as Inaugural Advisory Board Members for microgrid solutions provider Powerhive alongside former UK Climate Change Minister Greg Barker.

Powerhive supplies affordable, reliable, and productive solar electricity to rural communities in the developing world and has aimed to deliver renewable energy to the 1.4bn people that live without access to reliable electricity.

Matt Mace

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie