Game of Thrones star Nikolai Koster-Waldau told CNBC that he hopes that mistakes made after the 2008 financial crisis, when climate action and the environment fell off the top of the global agenda, will not happen again when the world leaves the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at Lions Live, Cannes Lions Digital International Creativity Festival 2020, the Danish actor who played Kingslayer Jaime Lannister in the world-famous television series said it was a historic moment.
“In the mid-2000s, I remember everyone talking about climate change,” he said. “Then the financial crisis came, and within a year it was not even on the agenda … I just pray that we do not make the same mistake. I mean, this is an opportunity. It’s like that. ”
Bonfire-Waldau, who is also a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Program, emphasized the importance of moving towards a green world and renewable energy.
“We really need our leaders to say that we are going to invest all this money … We are also going to make this transition, because that’s all, we must take measures to save the future of our planet,” he said.
The actor and activist added that he hopes that over time, the crisis with coronavirus can be considered a turning point.
“We are at a crossroads in many ways, but I think that this pandemic, we hope, will look back and say,“ Well, it was a terrible tragedy, but after that there were big changes, ”he said, adding:“ This the ability to reset everything. “
Inequality is exposed
An actor nominated for an Emmy Award, Coster-Waldau, said the coronavirus pandemic revealed fundamental inequality around the world.
Speaking of global protests against racism caused by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in police custody in Minneapolis, Coster Waldau, who lives in Denmark and Los Angeles, said we all must uphold Basic Human Equality.
“The actions taken by people in response to the terrible things that happened are very, very clear and very, very strong. I think that it will be impossible for leaders in the US not to take any action, and I think that if they prefer not to do this, I think it will affect the next election, ”he said.
As UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, Koster-Waldau’s work focuses on climate action and gender equality, and in 2018 he helped launch a lion rally. The initiative, launched by UNDP and partners Mars, Nielsen, BBDO and Finch, aims to help tackle crises in nature, biodiversity and climate change by encouraging brands to contribute 0.5% of their media costs to campaigns animals.
Coster-Waldau told CNBC that a recent global travel shortage due to blocking Covid-19 has affected wildlife tourism and the jobs it supports – more than 20 million roles, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council in 2018.
He said the Lion’s Share fund helped, where he could, during a pandemic, provide small grants to those working directly with wildlife in order to provide economic opportunities and stimulate the protection of biodiversity.
Koster-Waldau said his two teenage daughters also influenced his work on gender equality as a UNDP goodwill ambassador.
“I want them to be able to travel anywhere in the world and not feel that they need to act differently because they are women,” he said. “There are so many countries, they do not have the same rights as men. It doesn’t make sense, it’s crazy, let’s just do it. ”
The actor told CNBC that in a month he would return to work and that the film and television industries would “find ways” to resume work after the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is one of those things where you are going, how will we ever do this?” Then, as soon as you do this, you simply find your way and get used to it, ”he said.
Starting in the eighth and final season of the hugely successful HBO series shown in 2019, he set up his own production company and bought a second home in Los Angeles.
Bonfire-Waldau told CNBC that the series “probably changed my professional life” and gave him some amazing opportunities, but he does not miss it.
“I miss the gang, my colleagues and the team, you spent 10 years together. It was very special. But we told the story, and the story ended, so there’s nowhere to return, ”he said. ,