“I’ll never let go”: Leonardo DiCaprio doubles down on climate change efforts, backing startup investment fund

Leonardo DiCaprio

Oscar-winning actor and noughties heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio is doubling down on his commitment to tackling climate change, backing a US fund focused on investment in startups in the sector.

The Princeville Climate fund invests in growth-stage startups using new technologies to create positive change in the environment, while also providing returns to investors.

DiCaprio has joined the fund as an advisor and an investor, although it’s not clear how much he has invested.

After finding fame in freezing waters through his work in 1997 epic Titanic, DiCaprio has, somewhat ironically, been a passionate advocate for preventing global warming. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s (LDF) climate change program is striving towards 100% renewable energy, globally, by 2050.

DiCaprio also used his 2016 Oscar acceptance speech to highlight the issue, calling climate change “the most urgent threat facing our entire species”, and calling on viewers to “work together and stop procrastinating”.

In January, LDF funded the One Earth Climate Model,a collaboration between the University of Technology Sydney, the University of Melbourne and the German Aerospace Center to develop decarbonisation process to limit global warming to 1.5ºC.

In August last year DiCaprio invested personally in Allbirds, a New Zealand company making sustainable footwear from natural materials.

In a statement, DiCaprio said he is proud to be working with the Princeville Capital.

“Tackling climate change requires an urgent, broad-based shift in our energy use — and technology and private sector investments will play a critical role in securing a healthier future for our planet,” he said.

The fund focuses on reducing carbon pollution, meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and improving climate resilience, as well as trying to find globally-scalable solutions.

Tech-wise, it is looking for solutions in energy efficiency, mobility, Internet of Things technology and smart cities.

“We have been inspired by Leo’s long-standing leadership and commitment to addressing climate change,” said Princeville Capital managing partner Joaquin Rodriguez Torres.

The fund managers will be “working closely with Leo and leading technology entrepreneurs in the climate sector”, he said.

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