Actor Harrison Ford said that saving the Amazon rainforest is crucial to any climate change solution and that young climate activists represent the “moral army” who will make a difference.
The Raiders of the Lost Ark star spoke Monday at an event at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York where he gave an impassioned speech that focused primarily on the fires that have been consuming large sections of the Amazon.
He said the Amazon is “crucial to any climate change solution,” for its “capacity to sequester carbon, for its biodiversity, for its fresh water, for the air we breath, for our morality.”
Ford said the protection and preservation of the rainforest “can achieve at least 30% of the emissions reductions we need to protect the planet.”
Later in the speech, the actor praised young climate activists, saying that their generation has been failed when it comes to the environment.
“They are a moral army and the most important thing we can do for them is too get the hell out of their way,” Ford said.
The U.N. Climate Action Summit, which concluded Monday, featured appearances by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, who along with 15 other children filed a complaint with the U.N., accusing five countries of inaction on combatting so-called climate change.
Ford said in his speech that “greed is winning the battle for the Amazon.”
“What we’ve done to preserve the Amazon… is being purposefully undone. We need to protect what we have. We need to restore what we’ve lost.”
The actor called for the defunding of tax incentives and other mechanisms that “fuel deforestation.”
Ford said, “without the Amazon… we cannot achieve a climate solution and nothing else we do will matter.”
During the speech, the 77-year-old actor fumbled with his note cards and appeared to lose his way more than once, saying “in the movies, we get to do it over.”
The Star Wars actor is a well-known flying enthusiast who enjoys piloting private aircraft. Social media reaction to his speech noted how the actor’s emotional pleas clashed with his love of gas-guzzling planes.
I hope he didn't forget to turn off his private jet's engine after parking it at the hangar.
— K. Bella (@kweexter) September 23, 2019
So says the guy who zips around in private jets.
— Jim (@Jim_the_Troll) September 23, 2019