Moving America Forward

Joaquin Phoenix Isn’t Joking: It’s Time to Take Climate Change Seriously

September 24, 2019
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Joaquin Phoenix Isn’t Joking: It’s Time to Take Climate Change Seriously
celebrity
Rainn Wilson, Joaquin Phoenix and Rosario Dawson participating in the “The World Is in Our Hands” campaign. Photos by Justin Wu
Celebrity voices have power, and these celebs are using theirs to encourage us all to fight climate change.

Rainn Wilson wants you to cut back on meat consumption.

Susan Sarandon is using reusable bags, straws and cups, and she’s hoping you will, too. 

Michael Greyeyes is urging you to compost and donate your old clothing. 

And they’re not the only celebrities encouraging you to combat our climate crisis. 

A new campaign, “The World Is in Our Hands,” captures celebrities in black and white photographs holding a pristine globe in their hands. Each photo is paired with action items anyone can add to their daily life. Whether it’s traveling sustainably, using less energy or demanding action from leaders, the featured celebrities are advocating for everyone to take matters into their own hands. 

“We chose people from all walks of life, from all different ages and different ethnicities,” Justin Wu, the photographer behind the campaign, told NationSwell. “I think if they can all come together for one unified message … that is amazing.”

Launched on September 18, the campaign is a partnership between Wu, the UN Environment Programme, social impact company The Krim Group and Accor, a hospitality company. 

Celebrity
Celebrities came together for the “The World Is in Our Hands” campaign, which urges individuals to adopt eco-friendly practices to combat climate change.Photos by Justin Wu

The campaign builds upon the UN’s ActNow initiative, a global call to raise awareness and spur action around climate change.

“With climate change, the world really is in our hands,” Todd Krim, president and CEO of The Krim Group, told NationSwell. “It’s up to those of us that are old enough to actually do something active to save the planet.”

In a pop-up studio at the Toronto International Film Festival, Wu and Krim recruited actors and actresses who are already invested in tackling climate change.

From there, interest in the campaign snowballed, Wu said. Word spread and other celebrities were eager to get involved. 

The end result is a series of photographs featuring Antonio Banderas, Joaquin Phoenix, Rosario Dawson, Neve Campbell and Alfre Woodard, to name a few.

Krim and Wu both have a history of working with celebrities and know the influence they can have on the general population.

“There’s a connection they’ve already made with the audience because they’ve already made audiences cry, they’ve made audiences laugh, and intrinsically, the audience already feels that much closer to the celebrity and so that kind of bond really resonated,” Wu said. 

But Krim stressed that this is just the beginning. 

Krim and Wu plan to continue the photo series through the fall and into 2020. This week, at UNEP’s Champions of the Earth gala, they’ll be taking photographs of individuals from grassroots and corporates sectors. 

“We don’t just view this as a ‘campaign’. We’re trying to create a movement here,” Krim said. “We want to inspire action.”

More: ‘Climate Apocalypse Chic’ and 7 Other Ways Art Tackles Climate Change 

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