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From Prince Harry and Leonardo DiCaprio to Emma Watson and Radiohead: What famous people are doing to help fight climate change

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 9/3/2019 Daily Mail Reporter

As the Amazon rainforest burns, climate change group Extinction Rebellion shut down cities, and environmental activist Greta Thunberg completes her zero-emissions trip across the Atlantic, the debate about climate change is dominating the news like never before.

With millions of followers on social media, celebrities have the power to highlight global issues and influence real change, but for many, environmental activism goes far beyond sending a tweet. 

Some have set up foundations committed to fighting the climate crisis, while others have created environmentally friendly businesses, hoping to inspire others to adopt similar green practices. Some are even willing to be arrested for it!

Here's a look at some of the celebrities who are doing their bit to fight climate change.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

a man and a woman looking at the camera: Prince Harry recently revealed that he and Meghan Markle will only have two children to help protect the environment against the 'terrifying' effects of climate change © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Prince Harry recently revealed that he and Meghan Markle will only have two children to help protect the environment against the 'terrifying' effects of climate change

The Duke of Sussex has ramped up his activism in recent times, using his significant platform to encourage people to be more environmentally friendly. 

In June, it was revealed the Royal has a very specific request for the hotels he’s staying at: use less plastic.

The Prince also revealed that he and Meghan Markle will only have two children to help protect the environment against the 'terrifying' effects of climate change.

Harry recently flew to Italy to a secretive Google Camp climate change conference to make an impassioned plea about tackling global warming.  

However, in August, Harry and Meghan came under fierce criticism for making four trips on a private jet in 11 days, with one flight generating as much as seven times the emissions per person compared to a commercial flight. 

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio wearing a suit and tie: Leonardo DiCaprio has spoken about climate change at the Davos economic forum and addressed the UN on the subject © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Leonardo DiCaprio has spoken about climate change at the Davos economic forum and addressed the UN on the subject

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that one of the Google Camp attendees who would have heard Prince Harry speak was Leonardo DiCaprio. 

The Oscar-winning actor is renowned for his environmental activism. In 1998, he founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the mission of which, according to its website, is to 'help restore balance to threatened ecosystems, ensuring the long-term health and well-being of all Earth’s inhabitants'. 

The foundation says it has funded over 200 projects and awarded £85 million in grants. 

The Once Upon A Time In Hollywood actor has also produced and featured in many environmental documentaries, including Before the Flood and The 11th Hour. 

In July, he donated £4 million to help tackle the Amazon fires. DiCaprio has also spoken about climate change at the Davos economic forum and addressed the UN on the subject.  

Emma Watson 

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: The monochrome Calvin Klein dress Emma Watson wore to the 2016 Met Gala was made from recycled plastic bottles © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The monochrome Calvin Klein dress Emma Watson wore to the 2016 Met Gala was made from recycled plastic bottles

She's known for her sense of style and red carpet looks, but Emma Watson is also a big supporter of sustainable fashion. 

Back in 2010, the actor teamed up with ethical fashion brand People Tree to make clothes out of of organic cotton and upcycled materials. 

Watson has also travelled to Bangladesh to support fair trade efforts, and got us thinking about our own fashion choices through her Instagram account @the_press_tour which details fashion credits about every single outfit she wears. 

The former Harry Potter star is so passionate about ethical fashion she signed up for the Green Carpet Challenge, agreeing that everything she wore on the red carpet would be sustainable. 

Her Calvin Klein dress for the Met Gala was made out of recycled plastic bottles.  

Natalie Portman 

Natalie Portman smiling for the camera: Natalie Portman was vegetarian since the age of nine, but went completely vegan after learning about the food industry © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Natalie Portman was vegetarian since the age of nine, but went completely vegan after learning about the food industry

She's a well-known vegan who has used her celebrity to advocate animal rights for more than a decade. 

It's an issue so close to her heart, she made a documentary about the horrors of the US meat industry in 2017 called 'Eating Animals', which went on to gain rave reviews. 

Portman, who has asked for animal-free clothing on film sets, even brought out her own vegan shoe range, the proceeds of which go to  nonprofit organisation The Nature Conservancy.

Speaking about the benefits of not eating meat to save the planet, the Oscar-winner said: 'It feels like something that could be easily fixable if people wanted to, because it's not like anything has to be invented. It's literally just going back to old practices.'     

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo holding a microphone: Mark Ruffalo co-founded the Solutions Project organisation, whose mission is to ‘accelerate the transition to 100% clean energy’ © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mark Ruffalo co-founded the Solutions Project organisation, whose mission is to ‘accelerate the transition to 100% clean energy’

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Shutter Island co-star, Mark Ruffalo, also shares the Oscar-winner’s passion for the environment and tackling climate change. 

After the Amazon fires broke out, the Avengers actor tweeted to his 6 million followers, encouraging them to donate to help the cause. 

While promoting his 2015 film, Spotlight, Ruffalo took time to tell people to try and cut their reliance on fossil fuels by switching to solar energy. 

He also co-founded the Solutions Project organisation, whose mission is to 'accelerate the transition to 100% clean energy' and took part in the 2017 climate change documentary In This Climate. 

Will Smith and Jaden Smith

Jaden Smith et al. posing for the camera: The famous father-son duo launched flavoured water brand called JUST Water, the bottles of which are 100% recyclable and made from plant-derived carton © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The famous father-son duo launched flavoured water brand called JUST Water, the bottles of which are 100% recyclable and made from plant-derived carton

The famous father-son duo have become more and more prominent in celebrity climate change activism. 

They launched flavoured water brand JUST Water in 2015 in response to growing concern about plastic pollution, using 100% recyclable bottles which are made from plant-derived carton. 

The company claims such packaging leads to a 74% reduction in carbon emissions when compared to normal plastic bottles.   

Will also narrated the 10-part documentary series about the Earth called One Strange Rock. 

Jaden meanwhile moderated a Summit LA18 discussion on climate change that featured Al Gore, and has given interviews about the threats of climate change and the urgent action required.  

Emma Thompson

a group of people posing for the camera: Emma Thompson took part in the Extinction Rebellion protests in London back in April 2019 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Emma Thompson took part in the Extinction Rebellion protests in London back in April 2019

Such is two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson’s commitment to fighting climate change, that the actress flew from LA to London in April to take part in the Extinction Rebellion protests.  

Thompson is also a member of Greenpeace UK and in 2009, along with other members, purchased land near the village of Sipson, with the aim of scuppering plans for Heathrow Airport’s proposed third runway, which would have required it as part of the expansion.

 In 2014, Thompson also went on a Greenpeace ‘Save the Arctic’ expedition with her daughter, Gaia, in order to draw attention to the environmental threat posed by oil drilling. 

Martin Sheen

West Wing's  Martin Sheen has a long record of environmental activism, clocking up more than 60 arrests for acts of civil disobedience in his lifetime © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited West Wing's  Martin Sheen has a long record of environmental activism, clocking up more than 60 arrests for acts of civil disobedience in his lifetime

Few celebrities can claim to have been arrested for their activism, but everyone’s favourite TV President Martin Sheen has been arrested over 60 times for acts of civil disobedience. 

The West Wing star is officially the most arrested man in Hollywood after being held by police at rallies against the testing of nuclear weapons in the US and marine conservation. 

As well as having a degree in oceanography, Sheen has been active with international marine wildlife conservation group Sea Shepherd for decades and they've even named a boat after him. 

In 2019, the 79-year-old executive produced a documentary, The Map to Paradise, which focuses on the threats to oceans and how they can be tackled. 

Speaking about it, he said: 'Those committed will be inspired to continue; and those who aren’t yet will become inspired. 

'The destruction of the environment affects everyone on the planet, and everyone on the planet has a responsibility to make a contribution to their own survival.' 

Arnold Schwarzenegger

a person making a funny face: Arnold Schwarzenegger is a vegan who drives environmentally friendly Hummers. He also set up a climate action organisation to help regional initiatives implement ‘low carbon and climate resilient infrastructure’ © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Arnold Schwarzenegger is a vegan who drives environmentally friendly Hummers. He also set up a climate action organisation to help regional initiatives implement ‘low carbon and climate resilient infrastructure’

On the surface, the Terminator may not strike people as being the most environmentally-friendly celebrity out there - what with all the Hummers and motorcycles. However, pop the hood (quite literally) and it’s a whole different story. 

One of Arnie’s Hummers is actually biodiesel, while another runs on hydrogen, meaning it generates no pollution. 

The actor and former California Governor is also a vegan, but the most important thing he has done came in 2011, when he set up non-profit environmental organisation  R20 Regions of Climate Action. 

Backed by the United Nations, R20 is a coalition of governments, international organisations and private companies that implement green infrastructure in cities. Its 2019 Austrian World Summit was opened by Greta Thunberg.

Radiohead

a close up of a mans face: After being blackmailed over 18 hours of unreleased music, Radiohead didn't submit and released the recordings themselves, donating all proceeds to Extinction Rebellion © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited After being blackmailed over 18 hours of unreleased music, Radiohead didn't submit and released the recordings themselves, donating all proceeds to Extinction Rebellion

Few bands are as politically active and cause-driven as Radiohead. 

Its frontman, Thom Yorke, has regularly spoken out on climate change, even fronting a campaign for Friends of the Earth which helped push the historic Climate Change Act through UK parliament in 2008.   

And they revealed they went on tour by bus, rather than plane, to cut down their carbon footprint. 

Earlier this year, the band were blackmailed by hackers who said they would release 18 hours of previously unheard music, recorded around the time of 1997’s seminal album OK Computer, if they didn't pay £120,000.  

Instead of cooperating, the band released the tracks, priced at £18, with all the proceeds going to climate change group Extinction Rebellion. 

Robert Redford

In 2007, Redford was named by Time Magazine as one of the Heroes of the Environment, with the outlet praising the star for his activism and the example he set © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited In 2007, Redford was named by Time Magazine as one of the Heroes of the Environment, with the outlet praising the star for his activism and the example he set

One of the most celebrated actors and directors of our times, Robert Redford, is also famous for his prolific activism. 

In 2005, the Oscar-winning star co-founded The Redford Center, which does everything from funding and sponsoring green projects, to producing films that inspire 'stories that galvanise environmental action'. 

In 2007, Redford was named by Time Magazine as one of the Heroes of the Environment, with the outlet praising the star for his activism and the example he set. 

He has also addressed the UN about the threat of climate change.     

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