Leonardo DiCaprio says end "free ride" for industrial polluters

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Leonardo DiCaprio. UN Photo/Cia Pak

American actor Leonardo DiCaprio has called on world leaders to end what he called "the free ride" that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free market economy.

The newly appointed UN Messenger for Peace, with a special focus on climate change issues, spoke at the Climate Summit in New York on Tuesday.

Mr DiCaprio said addressing the issue is not just about telling people to change their light bulbs or to buy a hybrid car.

He described climate change as a "disaster" that has grown beyond the choices that individuals make to one that needs decisive large scale action by industries and governments around the world.

"We need to put a price tag on carbon emissions and eliminate government subsidies for oil, coal and gas companies. We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free market economy. They do not deserve our tax dollars. They deserve our scrutiny for the economy itself will die if our ecosystems collapse. The good news is that renewable energy is not only achievable but good economic policy." (25")

Mr DiCaprio said climate change is not a partisan debate but a human one, adding that clean air and a livable planet are what he called "inalienable human rights".

He stressed that solving the climate crisis is not a question of politics but one of survival.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1'27"

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