Leonardo DiCaprio To Join Zayed Prize Jury

As the Middle East is short on its own green celebrities, the Zayed Prize has decided to nab some from Hollywood (and tennis) instead

The Zayed Prize is the most prestigious green energy award in the Middle East so it’s easy to see why they have the pick of the bunch when it comes to putting together their jury. This year however, they really have outdone themselves.

As well as securing Mohammed Nasheed, the president of the Republic of Maldives who has campaigned internationally on climate change, they have managed to convince Leonardo DiCaprio, the Oscar-award winning actor/environmental activist, and Grand Slam Tennis Champion Andre Agassi to join them. Cherie Blair, wife of the previous Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair, will also be deciding the winners for the award for innovation, leadership, long-term vision and impact on renewable energy and sustainability.

Clearly, a celebrity-packed jury is one way to make the headlines (it certainly got us talking!), which can be a good thing if the celebrity happens to be talking about something green. The Zayed Future Energy Prize aims to encourage the ongoing development of renewable energy and clean technology in the world and the jury will convene later this year to decide on the winner who will be honoured in a ceremony in Abu Dhabi on January 17, 2012. The prize is open to individuals, large companies, small and meduim enterprises and non-governmental organisations.

The first prize is neat $1.5 million (Dh5.5 million) which will no doubt go a long to help improve renewable energy projects. The new jury members will join continuing members: Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland; Ahmad Al Sayegh, Chairman of Masdar; and Dr Susan Hockfield, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Previous winners include the giant wind company Vestas who gave away half of their $1.5 million to other renewable projects in 2011.

All this talk of green celebrities, however, has got me thinking. Why doesn’t the Middle East have any green celebrities of it own? I mean celebrities such as singers and actors that happen to be environmental activists and not just famous green activists. And are green celebrities really that useful in promoting the cause?

A lot of people find the green-talk of rich celebrities patronizing and rather hypocritical. I mean, we all know about the infamous incident when the green rockstar Bono paid for his hat to be flown to him or the event in Syria, where celebrities released environmentally unfriendly balloons to promote a green lifestyle. So are we really missing out on anything? Lets us know what you think.

:: Image via virvikram/picasa.

For more on the Zayed Prize see:

Editor of Arabic Environmental Magazine Scoops Top Eco Prize

Six Finalists Chosen for Masdar’s Zayed Future Energy Prize

Wind Giant Vestas Gives Half of its $1.5 Million Zayed Prize to Other Renewable Innovators

Win The $1.5 Million Zayed Future Energy Prize

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3 thoughts on “Leonardo DiCaprio To Join Zayed Prize Jury”

  1. Shabbir says:

    Observation & Obligations is not against But the ??? Solar & Wind Energy Resources for the Entire World one of the good future Energy Solution in the way of long run limitations / expansions may be??

    Dear Sir,

    Subject matter need to be consult for the Debates in the future Energy
    Events / Forums / Exhibitions / Seminars / Conferences for solving our
    Entire World Energy Crisis and its solutions like Hydroelectric Energy
    is the one of them for all over the entire World communities energy
    requirements, which will be most unique situation for the research and
    developments on future thinking and its Solutions. Because both Energy
    Resources if in the way of limitation expansions then this will be OK
    and fine otherwise they must be disturb the life cycle of whole World
    like Seasonal and Weather system of Rain falls, On the other hand
    impacts create on Eco System, Environmental issues like new facts and
    figures for Human life. Because due to the current scenario of our
    Global condition seems to be causing problems & harmful for the next
    Cumming future time frame. If we consider as fallowing Points
    positively then may be solve the subject matter easily as soon.

    Reservations / Obligations for the Wind Energy Sector.

    1. First of all we see that wind energy sector spreading rapidly in
    every country as a renewable energy Sector a good sign but when wind
    fans working to produce energy also disperse the route of proper air
    direction which will be the causing problem of environmental issue
    like seasonal weather effects for rains and hydro energy sector
    projects water storages capacities decrease / Less Levels?

    2. Grounds, Hills, Sea, Oceans, everywhere wind forms create energy
    from environmental air travelling paths, and send it to the required
    portion of power sector uses. But due to the above mention
    observations come into the way of this source of energy sector?

    3. If we use air / wind for only the utilization for one object as
    described, then our Global Earth Planet will be disturb and life cycle
    will be change.

    Reservations / Obligations for the Solar Energy Sector.

    1. Solar Energy Sector also spreading / Growing / Rapidly on houses,
    big buildings, Solar parks, Solar forms same as we study in wind
    energy sector, Sun heat reach directly towards Solar Panels and after
    storing the heat delivered energy to require places for utilizations
    of entire world need as we know Globalization and its developments so
    fast in every where as we discuss in above wind subject accordingly.

    2. The portion of Panels in all over the entire world if we see to its
    below / under side areas, there is no heating and lighting approaches
    so that due to this impact create same as already discuss in wind
    energy sector but here is some different case of scenario taking place
    because upper side of Solar Panel observe the heat and light but lower
    area of Land surface doesn’t do so and heat and light is not reaching
    there properly, causing problems for environment in shape of seasonal
    and life cycle changes in human being.

    3. Same as in the nature of Engineering / Medical / Eco system / will
    be effect due to the above situation as well as environmental issues
    we all knows better ways for positive polices and its implementations.

    We are not +/ – thinking against the both Wind and Solar energy
    system are good resources of our energy Sector all over the world
    production departments, same as other lot of energy making areas Gas,
    Coal, Tidal, Bio, Thermal , Oil, etc.

    At the end of the subject discussion if we see the hydroelectric
    energy Sector is the useful way for all over Global energy resources
    only if some modifications / alterations made in Penstock Civil Design
    Geometry in the Vertical smooth transition type Section come from
    intake to turbine travelling path in shape of box culvert type to
    enhance capabilities of its generation capacities of Dams, Reservoirs,
    Rivers, Flowing Water areas, Canalize water sources by canals &
    Tunnels which are already produce lot of energy for entire world
    communities and its requirements . Details will be consultable with me
    on expertise forms.

    Once again need to be identifying only for the considering of
    important issues for resolving in our future coming energy events ,
    Seminars, Conferences, gathering of think tanks debates and
    consultations to find out solutions for the Global energy crisis which
    will be come out in next future.


    Hoping for the positive response soon.

  2. Shabbir says:

    Planet of Earth Energy & Water Crisis. + One more optional idea for our future thinking.

    Dear Sir,

    The Subject matter is all over the World facing Energy & Water
    problems, So I am trying to Explain an idea for Old & New Dams /
    Reservoirs Hydro electric projects Civil Design Geometry Can be
    modifying in Architectural Transition to increase our energy
    potential. Because we are Losing heavy quantum of already storage
    water in our Big Dams and its relevant projects to generate Hydro
    Electric old technology, Now it must be need to convert into new
    theory of Scientific Technology as per utilizing in the way of
    experiment with foreign expertise at any Hydro electric base Model of
    concern Department or forum to finalize the following unique and
    entire world Global developing idea for its further implementations in
    the current ongoing and next coming future Hydroelectric & Water
    projects as soon as possible.


    with best regards.

    Please Debates in future Energy Events / Forums / Exhibitions /
    Seminars / Conferences about subject idea for solving our entire World
    Energy Crisis as soon as possible.

    One more Optional idea for our future thinking.

    it is simple to start a intake water Chanel and drop to a low bed area
    to generate Hydroelectric Energy + other after-all we can utilize Sea
    or Ocean to canalize for entire world energy and agricultural
    requirements / necessaries because think tanks can be made easily
    Handel the subject matter.

    I hope think so.

  3. Norm says:

    Leo is “Bar-less” now, after dumping Bar Rafaeli.

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