Leonardo DiCaprio pledges $20 million to battle climate change

He wants to help 'build a brighter future'

leonardo dicaprio engaged
(Image credit: Walter/Deadline/REX/Shutterstock)

He wants to help 'build a brighter future'

Words - Mike Miller

From the editors of People

Leonardo DiCaprio is shelling out big to help combat climate change.

The Revenant star announced his foundation will be donating a $20 million grant to help combat climate change during a speech at Yale University on Tuesday evening. He also reserved some harsh words for President Donald Trump and his administration’s position on global warming.

'We are proud to support the work of over 100 organisations at home and abroad,' the actor said.

'These grantees are active on the ground, protecting our oceans, forests and endangered species for future generations – and tackling the urgent, existential challenges of climate change.

'There exist today many proven technologies in renewable energy, clean transportation, and sustainable agriculture, that we can begin to build a brighter future for all of us. Our challenge is to find new ways to power our lives, employ millions of people and turn every individual into an advocate for clean air and drinkable water. We must demand that politicians accept climate science and make bold commitments before it is too late.'

DiCaprio recalled meeting with 'then-President elect Trump' before the election, to present him with a plan to tackle climate change. The President has since announced that he plans to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, weakening efforts to combat global warming.

Leonardo DiCaprio

The actor attended the People's Climate March in Washington DC
(Image credit: Getty Images)

'I still believe that the United States has the potential to lead the world on this issue,' DiCaprio said. 'We can only hope that the President begins to see it too, before it is too late.'

It's not the first time that Leonardo DiCaprio and Trump have differed in their views towards climate change, with the actor previously taking to Facebook to slam the President.

The generous donation came at the end of the two-day climate change conference moderated by former U.S. Secretary of State and Yale alumnus John Kerry.

Kerry returned to his alma mater earlier this year to oversee the Kerry Initiative, which he described as 'an interdisciplinary program that will tackle pressing global challenges through teaching, research, and international dialogue.'

The conference this week included five sessions on topics ranging from the future of energy, the role of the private sector, local and international efforts and activism, according to a statement from the university.

DiCaprio wrapped up the event at 5 p.m, discussing citizen engagement and activism before making his donation on behalf of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which has made more than $80 million in grants to environmental causes since 2008.

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