The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation announced that it is awarding $ 20 million in grants to a wide variety of projects around the world that will help save the environment, its people, and encourage sustainability. The large sum will be spread across 100 organizations, whose goals range from restoring mangroves in Mexico to establishing reserves in all five oceans.
The foundation was established in 1998 and this sum will raise the organization’s impact to $ 80 million since it first began. DiCaprio has been significantly enhancing his efforts to help the environment in the last few years and he points to his role in Revenant, which had environmentalist undertones, as a major motivator to increase his role in combating climate change.
“We are proud to support the work of over 100 organizations at home and abroad. 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,” Leo said in a speech delivered to a climate change conference at Yale University this past Tuesday.
DiCaprio has become increasingly involved in not only environmental projects, such as on-the-ground work in rainforests being slashed for palm oil, but also diplomatic actions. This includes meeting with former president Barack Obama and President Donald Trump to discuss climate change, becoming a Messenger of Peace for the UN, and producing a documentary on climate change.
One of his many goals in combatting climate change is to expand the production and use of sustainable energies and materials. He mentioned this in his speech at Yale University.
“There exist today many proven technologies in renewable energy, clean transportation, and sustainable agriculture, that we can use to begin to build a brighter future for all of us,” he said.“These facts have been presented to the world time and time again for decades. Quite simply, we are knowingly doing this to ourselves, to our planet and to our future, and the cost of our inaction is becoming clearer. Yet with all of this evidence – the independent scientific warnings, and the mounting economic price tag – there is still an astounding level of willful ignorance and inaction from the people who should be doing the most to protect us, and every other living thing on this planet,” he said.
The 100 grants are spread out around the world and divided into six categories based on their missions. These categories include climate change, wildlife and landscape conservation, marine life and ocean conservation, innovative solutions, indigenous rights, and the California program. Each of these areas are equally important to salvaging what’s left of planet Earth and ensuring that humans don’t continue to make it even worse.
In his speech, he also urged listeners to use their power as constituents to speak with their representatives about the environmental issues that matter to them. The more pressure put on politicians, the more likely they are to act against destructive measures and in favor of productive, environmental acts.