Leonardo DiCaprio just made a powerful speech on climate change at the UN

Leonardo DiCaprio just made a powerful speech on climate change at the UN

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio warned the world "you can make history or be vilified by it" as he appeared at the UN to give a three-minute speech calling for action on climate change.

This is an edited extract of what he had to say.

I stand before you not as an expert but as a concerned citizen, one of the 400,000 people who marched in the streets of New York on Sunday, and the billions of others around the world who want to solve our climate crisis.

As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems. I believe humankind has looked at climate change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that climate change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away.

But I think we know better than that. Every week, we’re seeing new and undeniable climate events, evidence that accelerated climate change is here now.

None of this is rhetoric, and none of it is hysteria. It is fact. The scientific community knows it, industry and governments know it, even the United States military knows it. The chief of the US navy’s Pacific command, admiral Samuel Locklear, recently said that climate change is our single greatest security threat.

My Friends, this body – perhaps more than any other gathering in human history – now faces that difficult task. You can make history ... or be vilified by it.

Now is our moment for action.

More: Police arrested a polar bear at a rally against climate changeMore: In pictures: the world takes to the streets for the People's Climate March

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