26 agents of change who are fighting for the planet

Ellen MacArthur, sailor and ecologist
Decision of record ocean racer MacArthur to quit competitive sailing in 2009 opened the doors to a new career with the creation of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation – a charitable trust dedicated to research on the circular economy. The circularity model, which focuses on reducing waste through the reuse and recycling of items and materials, aims to tackle the environmental cost of unsustainable production methods in everything from fashion to agriculture, and common links between them. In a new preface to the Foundation paper Complete the table: how the circular economy tackles climate change MacArthur refers to the document’s conclusion that 45% of emissions come from “the way we make products and food …[and] if we are to fix the climate, we must transform the economy – and not just the way it is fueled.

Leonardo DiCaprio, actor and environmentalist
Hollywood stars carry a powerful social currency, which some have chosen to use for the good of the planet. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio used the platform for his Oscar acceptance speech in 2016 to stress his own vision of the climate crisis to tens of millions of viewers: “We must stop procrastinating and support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters [but] for all of humanity, for the indigenous peoples of the world, for the billions and underprivileged people who will be most affected by this … and for those people whose voices have been stifled by the politics of greed. “

(Related: To Prevent Pandemics, Stop Disrespecting Nature.)

It was not a disposable gesture: at the time of this speech, DiCaprio was already the figurehead of his eponymous foundation, dedicated to “responding to humanity’s most urgent threats”, for 18 years. Help fund impact initiatives around the world, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation had awarded more than $ 100 million in grants to 200 projects – with the actor becoming a UN Messenger of Peace, and in front of a number of documentaries – including National Geographic Before the flood.

Bill Gates, technology mogul and philanthropist
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is currently the fourth richest person in the world. He is also the author of a book on climate change, and the support behind a series of innovative efforts to find technological solutions to, among other things, reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. Gates’ interests and financial position put the philanthropic activities of the foundation he co-chairs with his ex-wife Melinda on a more stable basis than most. In addition, the Gates formed a coalition with fellow billionaire Warren Buffet to found The Giving Pledge – an initiative designed to encourage the super-rich to use their wealth to help humanity.

doors sober warnings in 2017 around the threat of an infectious virus to humanity, and subsequent donations from his foundation for vaccine development makes him the target of conspiracy theories. This, as opposed to the unanimous recognition of being hit with the money, demonstrates how philanthropy on this scale has its own complex cost.

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