Profile: Hugh Jackman
Actor Hugh Jackman joined high profile forces to put the ‘heat’ on the 100 world leaders in New York for the talks this week ahead of a summit in Copenhagen in December, saying that poor communities need a ‘fair, just and equitable’ agreement which meets their needs as well as those in developing countries.
At the launch of Climate Week at the New York Public Library on Monday, Mr Jackman provided the star power, telling of his experience on a trip to Ethiopia earlier this year where he met coffee grower Dukalee, his wife and family of five.
Jackman said he promised poor families like Dukalee’s that he would use his voice to urge negotiators not to overlook poorer countries.
‘I’m going to use the best weapon I have which is not the Wolverine claws or my mutant powers but my voice to speak on behalf of Dukalee and a billion other people in developing countries who contribute the least to climate change and yet they are hit the hardest by it,’ Jackman said.
‘Simply stated, we must not forget the poor in our negotiations here at the UN this week and in Copenhagen.’
Jackman said poor communities need a ‘fair, just and equitable’ agreement which meets their needs as well as those in developing countries.
Dennis Shanahan, Political editor of The Australian in New York (22 September 2009):
A FAMOUS Australian grabbed centre stage in New York yesterday, giving a clear and succinct argument for battling climate change.
The Aussie accent and broad smile warmed the hearts of some of the biggest players in climate change - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, former British PM Tony Blair and Sir Nicholas Stern – as a compelling story of drought and poverty induced hardship in Ethiopa unfolded into a personal drama of methane-fuelled success and hope.
As Chinese, Indian and Danish negotiators were thrown open to the scores of US and international media at the launch of the New York City Climate Week to coincide with the UN’s biggest leaders’ conference on climate, it was the boy from Oz that got most of the attention and requests for interviews.
But it wasn’t Kevin Rudd hogging the limelight, it was the star of “Australia”, Hugh Jackman.
After playing down reports he could “bench press 300 pounds” the star of film and stage, who’s acting as an ambassador for World Vision and in New York for the UN conference with Tim Costello, set out his personal experience as a roving ambassador for World Vision and the linking of poverty with climate change.
Wolverine star Mr Jackman told the story of a young father of five and coffee farmer, Ducalee, living in Ethiopa who had started to use the manure from his cows to capture methane gas which powered his cooking stove, coffee roaster and now a light for his children to do homework and read after dark.
“Ducalee doesn’t have anything materially and is doing it tough so I told him I would do my part to help and that’s why I am here today,” Mr Jackman said.
“I will use the best weapon I have which is not Wolverine claws or mutant powers but the public,” he said.
“I have seen development that works but all that will be lost if world leaders do not come to Copenhagen and reach a fair, just and equitible agreement,” he said.
Mr Ban “commended” him, and other film stars, celebrities and members of royal families, who used their fame to help UN causes.
Actor and World Vision Ambassador Hugh Jackman has joined forces with The Climate Group, Mayor Bloomberg, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to support Climate Week NY°C, a week-long series of events being held throughout New York City to address the urgent need for action on climate change.
Jackman, known for his feature roles in films such as “X-Men” franchise and “The Prestige” and theatre, including the new Broadway production, “A Steady Rain” and his Tony award winning role in “The Boy from Oz,” is an advocate for action on climate change: for cutting emissions and for adaptation, the need for societies and natural environments to respond to climatic events brought about, or intensified, by climate change.
Jackman participated in the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NY°C, on Monday, September 21, along with world leaders including the Rt Hon Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
“I’m honored to join the many government, business and civil society leaders who are calling for urgent action to address climate change,” said Jackman. “I hope to be a voice for the billion people in developing countries who will be the hardest hit by changing weather patterns; by the droughts and floods that destroy their crops and threaten their food security. Climate Week NY°C provides an ideal forum to help underscore the urgency for world leaders to secure and fund an ambitious global climate change deal in Copenhagen that is effective, fair and binding.”
“We’re grateful for the enormous support we’ve already received for Climate Week NY°C, and to Hugh Jackman for adding his voice to those calling for world leaders to agree a green New Deal to tackle climate change and to unlock green jobs and green growth,” said Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, the secretariat of Climate Week NY°C. “With so much at stake in December, business leaders, policy-makers and citizens must make it clear to leaders of all our nations that now is the time to unite in the best interests of the planet and our future prosperity.”
Climate Week NY°C was a partnership comprised of global non-profit The Climate Group, the United Nations, the UN Foundation, the City of New York, the TckTckTck campaign and the Carbon Disclosure Project. HP is the Premier Sponsor and Swiss Re the Founding Sponsor of Climate Week NY°C, with additional support from HSBC.
Taking place less than 80 days before the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Climate Week NY°C provides a platform for leaders from government and business, as well as everyday citizens, to demonstrate their support for a global deal on climate change in Copenhagen.
A full list of the more than 60 events taking place throughout New York City during the week can found at www.climateweeknyc.org.
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world’s poor – regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity or gender.