And the Oscar goes to… The battle against climate change steals the show at the 88th Academy Awards

March 2, 2016 5:53 pm

Leonardo DiCaprio

I’ve personally admired Leonardo DiCaprio’s work for many years now, and yes, as many others, I hoped he would win an Oscar sooner.

It was not until last Sunday, though, that he finally won the Academy Award that he – and his fans all around the world – had been waiting for ever since he received his first nomination for his outstanding performance as Arnie in What’s eating Gilbert Grape, in 1994.

But the drought is now over.

At least, DiCaprio’s Oscar one is.

I did not think of it at first, but it seems now so right to me that he would win for The Revenant, a film that deals so beautifully with the relationships between men, but more than that with “a man’s relationship to the natural world”, with all the challenges (and the beauty) that the environment can offer.

The famous actor and producer, best known for his work in cinema, is in fact also an environmentalist, deeply committed to the cause of raising awareness on climate change and its consequences.

In his acceptance speech at the 88th Academy Awards, not only did he thank colleagues, family and friends, but he also took the time to address the cause so dear to his heart. “Climate change – he said – is real, it is happening right now”.

Such is the importance DiCaprio gives to this matter, that in 1998 he established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation “with the mission of protecting the world’s last wild places”. The LDF is now active in more than 40 countries all around the globe and can count on more than 65 partners.

The actor, UN Messenger of Peace for the Climate, never misses the opportunity to shine a light on the role each one of us has in the preservation of the environment, on red carpets as well as in important events all over the world. His work has also given him the opportunity to meet important personalities and world leaders, to share his view on how to tackle the problem.

Most recently, in January he had the chance of meeting Pope Francis, whom he presented with a book containing works by artist Hieronymus Bosch. In particular, he showed the Pope a picture that, he said, used to hang over his crib, and “through my child’s eyes it represented a planet, the utopia we had been given”. In return, the Pontiff gave him a copy of the encyclical Laudato Si’. “The urgent challenge to protect our common home – writes the Pope in a section of the introduction called “My Appeal” – includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.”

In December, at the end of the first week of climate negotiations that took place in Paris during the annual Conference of the Parties (COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference), the actor had the opportunity to speak in front of a room packed with mayors and local leaders from around the world, and he urged “all of you to please do more”.

On this occasion, he spoke of 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history, a fact he remarked during his acceptance speech at last Sunday’s Academy Awards. “Production – he said – needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow”.

Before leaving the stage he then invited everyone not to “take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted”.

To know more about Leonardo DiCaprio’s effort to raise awareness on climate change you can visit his website: www.leonardodicaprio.org

You can watch and read his acceptance speech at this address.

Here you can find the article TermCoord published after the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (2015)

Written by Maria BregolatoPic - Maria
Terminology trainee at TermCoord

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