Inspire

7 A-List Celebrities Who Use Star Power For Climate Action

Pharrell Williams, superstar and climate activist. Photo: Stuart Ramson/Invision for the United Nations Foundation/AP Images
Pharrell Williams, superstar and climate activist. Photo: Stuart Ramson/Invision for the United Nations Foundation/AP Images

Taking action on climate change has been getting a wave of new celebrity endorsements lately, and it’s helping to rapidly capture people’s attention in new ways.

Celebrity culture has a way of working its way into people’s personal and everyday lives so it’s great when celebrities use their star power to raise awareness for important issues – like climate change.

These seven celebrities are not only raising awareness of climate change, they’re working on ways to do something about it.

1. Leonardo DiCaprio

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Hailed as “One of the world’s top climate change champions” Oscar-award winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental activism dates back to the early 1990s where he began schooling himself on oceans and climate change, receiving private lessons in climate science.

In recent years, he has set up his own foundation to supports innovative projects to protect biodiversity and support oceans conservation, wildlands conservation – as well as projects that focus on tackling climate change in general.

Leonardo even used his thank you speech at the 2016 Oscars to call for action, stating “Climate change is real, it is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”

2. Emma Watson

Photo: sarahslutsky via Instagram
Photo: sarahslutsky via Instagram

Alongside being a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, the Harry Potter star is also a strong advocate for sustainable fashion. She has collaborated with the Green Carpet Challenge, a campaign that raises the profile of sustainable and ethical fashion through high profile events.

At the recent 2016 Met Gala, she wore the custom-made gown made from recycled plastic bottles seen above. The dress was a collaboration between Calvin Klein and the Green Carpet Challenge, and also has easily re-wearable components to ensure the dress won’t be a one-off wear.

3. Björk

Photo: Timothée Lambrecq
Photo: Timothée Lambrecq

Icelands’ Björk Guðmundsdóttir, the eclectic singer-songwriter, has increasingly involved herself with environmental issues during a career that now spans three decades. One of her more recent projects included new environmental teaching materials that she created in partnership with leading Nordic artists and scientists. The project has already been piloted in schools around the world.

With Donald Trump declaring global warming “bullshit” and a hoax invented by China, Björk also told Rolling Stone magazine she believes the United States should be particularly wary of how climate change affects the world. Rolling Stone reports how she said the businessman-turned-presidential-candidate is one of the “last roaring dinosaurs of that generation.”

The industrialists of the 1800s through the 20th century invented miraculous things for mankind but “as a species” it’s now time to refocus, she says. “We should have switched gears 50 years ago,” she told the magazine. “This is our last, last, last chance to do it now. I’m an optimist. I think we can still do it. … Trump’s style is obviously not going to get us anywhere. But I really think we can change this and if we act now on a massive scale, we can do stuff.”

4. Pharrell Williams

Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar
Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar

Pharrell Williams, the Grammy-award winning musician, called on world leaders at last year’s COP21 climate change summit to provide millions of green jobs around the world in order to tackle climate change – and help create opportunities for young people in the process.

“I’m passionate about two big issues: climate change, and education and skills for young people,” Williams said in his message to world leaders.

“Climate change is one of the most defining issues of our time, one that threatens our very existence on Earth. And we’ve also got another serious problem on our hands: millions of young people who don’t have jobs.”

5. Emma Thompson

Photo: Greenpeace
Photo: Greenpeace

In recent years, actor Emma Thompson has become a strong Arctic activist.

Among visits to the Arctic and several climate action marches she participated in, Thompson also teamed up with a giant polar bear in a bid to raise awareness of Arctic drilling.

6. Akon

Photo: UN
Photo: UN

600 million Africans still don’t have access to electricity, particularly in rural areas. Musician and businessman Akon wants to change that.

His Akon Lighting Africa initiative develops innovative solar-powered solutions that provide clean and affordable sources of electricity to villages across Africa.

Since its launch in 2014, Akon Lighting Africa has already installed over 100,000 street-lamps, 1,000 solar micro-generators and 200,000 household electric systems, creating thousands of jobs in 15 countries across Afrcia.

7. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Photo: Facebook
Photo: Facebook

He’s done it all, Mr. Universe, the Terminator, California’s 38th governor – but he’s also a climate change activist.

Schwarzenegger is on a crusade for a clean energy future and during the COP21 climate summit Schwarzenegger published a Facebook blog informing the public he doesn’t give a **** about whether they agree with him on climate change.

He explains – using some great metaphors – that regardless of whether people can agree on climate change, renewable energy is the way forward to a smarter, cleaner, healthier and more profitable energy future.

Do you like the sound of a more profitable future? Find out how Climate-KIC could help you start a company and get involved in the biggest business opportunity ever.

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