With apparently no one in the White House steering the U.S. into an environmentally sustainable future, who’s going to take the wheel?
Leonardo DiCaprio has an idea who.
Speaking at Yale University on Sept. 19, the actor and activist announced his foot is passing a whopping $20 million in grants to over 100 eco-groups dedicated to fighting climate change, safeguarding indigenous rights, and wildlife preservation struggles, among other issues.
It’s the largest portfolio of environmental subsidies ever given by the DiCaprio Foundation, according to the group, which chose to unveil the above figures at John Kerry’s Kerry Initiative climate change conference.
“These grantees are active on the floor, safeguarding our oceans, woods, and endangered species for benefit of future generations — and tackling the pressing, existential challenges facing climate change issues, ” DiCaprio said.
The DiCaprio Foundation, which creates money in huge part from high-profile fundraising events, didn’t drum around the bush either: Washington’s callousnes toward all-important environmental issues is obliging problems worse.
While President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress weren’t mentioned by figure, their inaction were certainly part of the discussion.
“This round of awards comes at a critical time, ” excused Terry Tamminen, the foundation’s CEO. “With a lack of political leadership and resumed evidence that climate change issues is growing worse with record-breaking heatwaves and blizzards, we believe we need to do as much as we can now, before it is too late.”
DiCaprio has spoken out against Trump’s dismissal of climate change before.
In June, shortly after the president announced plans for the U.S. to leave the Paris climate accord — a world-wide agreed by nearly every nation to drastically slash carbon emissions — DiCaprio threw the unpopular move, calling it a “careless decision.”
“Our future on this planet is now more at risk than ever before, ” he wrote in a statement. “For Americans and those in the world community looking for strong leadership on climate problems, this action is deeply discouraging.”
With help from groups like DiCaprio’s, however, Americans are stepping up to the plate — with or without their president.
The U.S. might meet its carbon reduction goals outlined in the Paris agreement despite Trump’s lack of support.
An initiative led by Michael Bloomberg, for example, has merged dozens of mayors, governors, businesses, and universities in remaining perpetrated to the Obama administration’s Paris pledge to slash America’s carbon output by 26% from its 2005 stages by the year 2025.
It could, in a sense, nullify any formal pullout from the accord.
“The bulk of determinations which drive U.S. climate action in the aggregate are made by municipalities, governments, organizations, and civil society, ” Bloomberg wrote in a letter to Antonio Guterres. “Collectively, these actors remain committed to the Paris accord.”
There’s modes for you to get involved and stay committed too.
Consider corroborating one of the many environmental groups that will receive awards from the DiCaprio Foundation or nonprofits like the Sierra Club or NRDC to make real change when it is necessary to climate action.