The 39-year-old actor has been chosen to speak at the September 23 environmental climate summit hosted by the UN’s Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Though he will certainly add some star power to the international event, DiCaprio is no stranger to environmental advocacy. In 1998, the actor established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which strives to protect wilderness areas and “create a harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world.”
In February, DiCaprio donated $3 million to marine conservation, followed by an additional $7 million pledge in the following months. Below is a video of DiCaprio delivering remarks at the U.S. State Department’s “Our Ocean” conference on June 17.
According to the UN’s outreach website, the Messenger of Peace title is given to those “distinguished individuals, carefully selected from the fields of art, literature, science, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life, who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the United Nations.”
DiCaprio follows in the footsteps of previous Messengers, including actors Charlize Theron and George Clooney, musicians Stevie Wonder and Yo-Yo Ma, writer Elie Wiesel, and primatologist Jane Goodall.
“Mr. DiCaprio is a credible voice in the environmental movement, and has a considerable platform to amplify its message,” said Ban Ki-moon in a statement. “I am pleased he has chosen to add his voice to UN efforts to raise awareness of the urgency and benefits of acting now to combat climate change.”
DiCaprio will give an address at the upcoming New York summit on the subject of climate change.
“It’s an honor to accept the role of UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change and to support the Secretary General in his efforts to address one of the most important issues we face as a global community,” said DiCaprio. “I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history – it is a moment for action. How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet.”