The value of role models in the fight against climate change: who inspires environmental advocacy?
Climate change is threatening the present and future of humankind. To turn this catastrophic situation around, we need role models ready to lead the fight. From youth activists like Greta Thunberg to established actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, among others. Below, we take a look at some of the public figures most committed to sustainability.
During the 21st century, humankind will face one of the greatest challenges to its existence: climate change. A topic receiving increasing attention in the media that has become a part of our everyday family and social conversations in recent years. At the same time, scientific studies (science of climate change) and the impact of international agreements like the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) support the struggle to find solutions to the problem.
Despite growing awareness, we still have a long way to go. Our success with this issue now, which will have a crucial impact on future generations, requires a greater level of commitment from all of society. What can we do to inspire everyone to join the fight against climate change? One of the ways is through role models, i.e. personalities committed to the environment who influence through their impact, their responsibility or their wisdom, encouraging others to achieve a more sustainable world.
THE MOST INFLUENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL CELEBRITIES ACTIVISTS
These days, numerous personalities have joined the fight against climate change. Let's take a look at what some of them have managed to achieve:
An environmental activist who always makes headlines. Still just 18 years of age, she rose to fame aged just 13 and sets an example to young people with her passionate and combative fight against climate change. We will never forget her vehement, and emotional speech. in September 2019 at the United Nations or her voyage across the Atlantic in November that same year to attend the COP25 in Madrid.
I want them to listen to the scientists, I want them to unite and I want them to act
The actor is a ferocious environmental activist. One example is the foundation he set up in 1998 that bears his name: The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. It runs more than 35 conservation projects and its mission is to protect Earth's last remaining wild places and apply sustainable solutions to encourage a healthier relationship between humankind and nature. What's more, he has also produced several documentaries on these concerns.
Climate change is real and it's happening right now
At a crucial time for the planet's future, this Danish economist and ecologist is leading the UN fight against climate change in her position as executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). After more than 30 years working in developing economics, environmental sustainability and policymaking, she has two more crises to deal with which are related to climate change: Pollution and biodiversity loss.
We need to make peace with nature and ensure that it is a lasting peace
Known as the father of the climate change economy, he received the Nobel Prize in 2018 for his climate and economic models, designed to consider the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change on the economy. He has been working in this area for decades, publishing his first work on the subject in 1994, entitled, Managing the Global Commons: The Economics of Climate Change, which he followed with others, like Warming the World: Economic Models of Global Warming (2000) and A Question of Balance: Weighing the Options on Global Warming Policies (2008).
Climate change is like roulette and you always lose at the casino
The textile industry is one of the most polluting in the world, so this British designer can have a significant influence on attitudes to the environment. Stella McCartney wants the future of fashion to be sustainable and has turned her words into action by setting up a foundation (Stella McCartney Cares) to raise funds to protect the Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia. Her collections include the organic and vegan ranges designed for Adidas and her line of biodegradable denim garments.
Can I do this more sustainably without compromising on design? Yes, I can, so why wouldn't I do it?
The co-founder of Tesla and other companies is a proponent of sustainability applied to the business world. That's why this entrepreneur invests in projects that use electricity from renewable sources. As a way to encourage the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change, he published the patents belonging to Tesla Motors and announced that he would not oppose anyone using them in good faith to develop electric vehicles.
Tesla cannot make electric cars fast enough to tackle the carbon crisis
This veteran, militant actress has reached the age of 83 as the embodiment of the older generation's commitment to fight against climate change. As well as starring in campaigns and using social networks like TikTok to get her message across to young people, she has led demonstrations in Washington organised by the Fire Drill Fridays, a group she herself created to raise the alarm about the climate emergency, the images of her being escorted away in handcuffs by the police are still shocking.
There's no more important fight than climate change
The Brazilian photographer, the author of works like Exodos or Genesis, decided to retire his camera after covering some of the worst conflicts on the planet to create the Instituto Terra, whose mission is to replant the forest where he spent his childhood. His tireless work - in the last twenty years he and his wife have planted two million trees - has revitalised an entire ecosystem and regreened the Aimorés region, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Everything depends on trees. Our water, our oxygen, our home
Another famous face who is likely to be pivotal in the fight against climate change in the years to come is Joe Biden. Since he took over as president of the United States, sustainability is once again a priority for the White House (Biden Plan) after the erratic policies enforced by the previous administration, which turned its back on multilateralism and international cooperation to halt the climate emergency.