Leo DiCaprio and fellow environmentalists nominate oil bosses including Shell CEO to ice bucket challenge

The actor, who is in Alberta, Canada, to research tar sands, also reportedly donated $100k to the ALS Association

Natasha Culzac
Tuesday 26 August 2014 13:53 BST
Leonardo DiCaprio, who is an environmentalist, did the challenge in Alberta where he is "learning about the tar sands"
Leonardo DiCaprio, who is an environmentalist, did the challenge in Alberta where he is "learning about the tar sands" (Facebook/Leonardo DiCaprio)

Leonardo DiCaprio enlisted fellow environmental campaigners to help him complete the ice bucket challenge, while casting a critical eye over Canada’s tar sands before nominating the heads of oil and gas firms.

The actor and environmental activist is in Alberta, the epicentre of the oil sands industry, to reportedly research a documentary, Toronto’s Globe and Mail reports.

His visit caused a bit of a stir, the newspaper said, leading to a government minister and oil official defending the industry, particularly after DiCaprio narrated a short film, in which he says humans must “fight to keep this carbon in the ground”.

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DiCaprio’s challenge was filmed with members of Fort Chipewyan, a community on Lake Athabasca, and was posted to his official Facebook page this morning.

He said he duly accepted David Beckham’s nomination and happened “to be here with a few friends in Alberta, learning more about the Canadian tar sands, its impact on our climate and the way they affect our lands, water and heath of the indigenous communities that live here”.

Standing alongside two chiefs from the local communities and the president of an environment organisation, he confirmed that he will be donating to the “very worthy cause” of the ALS Association before the group then made nominations themselves.

“My friends Chief Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation challenges Dave Collyer, President of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers; Chief Courtoreille of the Mikisew Cree First Nation challenges Mark Little of Suncor Canada; and The Sierra Club President Michael Brune challenges Shell CEO Ben van Beurden,” DiCaprio captioned his video with on Facebook.

DiCaprio, 39, then nominated Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister.

His utilising the ice bucket challenge to push forward a good cause is similar to the move made by fellow actor Matt Damon, who did his dare with toilet water due to his founding a clean water charity.

DiCaprio is in the Canadian region with award-winning director Darren Aronofsky, the latter of whom has been tweeting about the trip.

Aronofsky said last week: "sober lecture last night by erin flanagan @pembina on #tarsands. less than 1% of mined lands certified reclaimed. woodland caribou doomed."

According to Just Jared, DiCaprio also donated $100,000 to the ALS Association.

In the Carbon video, which names one of its executive producers as Leo’s father George, DiCaprio the younger states: “The fossil fuel industry continues to pull that carbon out of the ground – they drill, they extract, making trillions of dollars, they frack, they mine, earning astronomical profits.”

He says that we need to avoid the “catastrophic warming of the planet”.

On Sunday, Alberta Energy Minister Diana McQueen said the oil-sands development was “transparent and responsible”, according to Globe and Mail.

“We respect people’s right to their opinions. At the same time, we believe reasonable people recognize the world needs all forms of energy, including fossil fuels, developed responsibly to meet its needs.

“Aside from the economic opportunities the oil sands create for Albertans and Canadians, the taxes and royalties generated from the oil-sands development provide funding for the infrastructure and programs that contribute to Canada’s high standard of living.”

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