"Our future is being gambled away" - Leonardo DiCaprio condemns climate change deniers in passionate speech
The actor and activist took the time to praise and defend Greta Thunberg during his speech at the Global Citizen Festival.
Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio spoke with urgency when he addressed the audience at this weekend's Global Citizen Festival.
Hosted by Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness, the annual event took place in front of 60,000 people in New York's Central Park.
Many well-known faces like Natalie Portman, Dakota Johnson, Forest Whitaker, Pharrell Williams and Queen + Adam Lambert were on hand to speak or perform live, with various notable causes highlighted.
Standing in front of a screen emblazoned with the word 'Environment', DiCaprio cut a serious figure as he challenged political leaders who "have failed to live up to the promises" of the Paris Agreement.
"Our future is being gambled away, and our leaders; those whom we entrust to protect us and set the example, are either failing to stop these dangerous trends, or in some cases, denying the very science of this climate catastrophe," DiCaprio began.
"And make no mistake, our scientific community has already spoken; the facts are clear and unless you live in an alternate reality, there is no more time for denial.
"A carbon neutral future is the only way we will inherit a planet capable of sustaining life on earth as we know it," he argued.
Clip via Global Citizen
DiCaprio then contrasted apathetic leaders with a battling youth movement.
"Last Friday, young people led the world in strike. Millions of brave individuals did more than simply walk out of their schools and places of employment; they took a stand.
"They set an example of true leadership that we so desperately need right now. These young people have said clearly, definitively, and without fear that the time for inaction is now over.
"Yet, surprisingly, some have reacted to this movement with insulting tweets and negative talking points, individuals that seem to care more about profit and their own self-interests than about your future.
"But we know that the climate youth movement is more important and crucial than at any time in human history," DiCaprio continued.
"While its leader Greta Thunberg couldn't join us here tonight, it's now up to us to get behind other young leaders for this monumental undertaking."
The festival, in line with its partners and members of US Congress, has made climate emergency commitments worth $1.6 billion.