Entertainment

Leonardo DiCaprio urges UN to solve climate crisis

Leonardo DiCaprio urges action at the UN Climate Summit in New York in the actor's new capacity as UN messenger of peace.

'Make history or you will be vilified by it' warned the actor and UN messenger of peace

Excerpt from the actor's speech to delegates in NYC 2:48

Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio used his star power at the United Nations Tuesday calling for action on the issue of climate change.

In his first speech as a UN messenger of peace, the celebrity environmental activist urged dignitaries and world leaders at the UN summit meeting on climate change to "make history" or "be vilified by it.​"

"Now must be our moment for action," declared DiCaprio.

"We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free market economy. They do not deserve our tax dollars, they deserve our scrutiny."

Longtime climate change activist

The 39-year-old Wolf of Wall Street star has made a name for himself as a climate change activist.

The actor toured Alberta's oilsands this summer while to doing research for an environmental documentary. 

He launched his own environmental charity, The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, back in 1998. It raised more than $25 million dollars for environmental protection at its first star-studded gala in July.

This past Sunday, DiCaprio joined the tens of thousands of environmental activists marching in the streets of New York.

High-profile activists

DiCaprio's appearance at the United Nations assembly in New York comes just days after another high-profile appearance. 

Harry Potter star Emma Watson helped kick off the UN's HeForShe campaign for gender equality at the international body on Saturday. 

She and DiCaprio are just the latest in a long line of celebrities from Audrey Hepburn to Angelina Jolie, who have represented various UN organizations.

According to the UN, there are currently 11 other messengers of peace and one goodwill ambassador.

Others include actors Michael Douglas and Charlize Theron and author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

For a list of 13 celebrity ambassadors who use their profile to improve the world, see the photo gallery above.

With files from Reuters

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