Climate change is one of our planet’s biggest threats, and thankfully an increasing number of the planet’s biggest celebrities are helping to spread the word.
Actors, musicians and TV personalities are getting involved with environmental issues through interviews, campaigns, social media and speeches. Some critics are sceptical about how positive such celebrity interventions are, suggesting that many are the result of a clever PR plan rather than genuine concern, and so lead to little real action or benefit. Whatever the motivation, celebrity endorsed conservation campaigns reach an undeniably vast audience, and engages their extensive fan-bases with issues they might not otherwise have connected with.
Celebrity Climate Call
Here’s our list of five of the most influential and famous individuals who have also become environmental activists.
1. Leonardo Dicaprio
Dicaprio was one of the first major Hollywood stars to not only express a concern for conservation, but to get involved at a political level. The actor has become a regular feature at conferences and events, including speaking at the UN climate summit last year. Dicaprio also sits on the board of numerous climate change and conservation organisations, and produced feature length documentary The 11th Hour in 2007, featuring over 50 experts on climate change, renewable energy and sustainable solutions.
2. Ian Somerhalder
Somerhalder’s use of Twitter to connect directly with his fans has made him a significant force amongst celebrity activists. The Vampire Diaries and Lost actor has 5.86 million followers on Twitter, which he uses as a platform to emphasise the unity between nature and humans, and to gain support for his charitable foundation. The Ian Somerhalder Foundation raises funds for a variety of issues including conservation, green energy, global deforestation and ending animal cruelty.
Sting is one of the longest standing celebrity supporters of sustainability. Along with his wife Trudie Styler, Sting founded The Rainforest Foundation to preserve forests in South America, and supports a wide range of other environmental charities. In recognition of his commitment, Sting has had a Colombian tree frog named after him.
4. Cameron Diaz
Diaz is an advocate of a clean-living lifestyle, keeping a healthy body as well as limiting her environmental impact. The actress has helped bring conservation issues into the mainstream by discussing her environmental concerns in popular lifestyle magazines such as Marie Claire. In addition, Diaz created a short video with Gwyneth Paltrow promoting energy conservation, and previously hosted an MTV programme called Trippin, focusing on ecology.
5. Brad Pitt
As one the world’s highest paid actors, Pitt exerts considerable star power. Along with his wife Angelina Jolie, Pitt is involved with multiple projects, including a grant to conserve the land, cultures and wildlife of Namibia. In addition, Pitt famously helped following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, founding his own eco-building company, Make It Right, to provide green and affordable housing for those in need.