Beyonce, Burna Boy, and Don Cheadle have featured on the United Nations documentary driving for solutions to problems plaguing the globe.
In the documentary, which was released on Saturday, aspects of humanity requiring urgent action were listed as including climate and planet, poverty and inequality, justice, and gender equality.
Leading among other entertainers who spoke in the 34-minute film, Thandie Newton, an actress, said: “In the midst of COVID-19, it’s a historic opportunity to look at the facts of the world as it is.
“And then to focus on the solutions to our greatest problems. In the seventy-five years since the UN was founded, the human race has never had to face a set of challenges as we do right now.
“But together, we can overcome them. Nelson Mandela says it almost seems impossible until it’s done. These are some of the things that must be done.”
Picking up from where Newton let off, Cheadle detailed existing solutions to lower global carbon emissions and curb deforestation. He also cited statistics, calling for collaborative and urgent action.
“We watched with amazement when, one year ago, young people from all over the world took to the streets to express their feeling that we’re not doing enough about climate change,” he said.
“That we’re not treating it like the emergency it is. It’s a year later. Have we done enough? No. Climate change is only a side of the story. Rain forests are disappearing at an extraordinary rate.
“One football field of the rain forest is destroyed every six seconds. One million plants and animal species are at the brink of extinction. By 20590, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.
“Climate change and our treatment of the natural world are colliding and exacerbating each other to create a storm. And this cannot go on. You know it. I know it. We know what we need to do.”
“The climate crisis is an opportunity. Renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuels. Businesses are working to go carbon-neutral. Opportunities to create safe and decent jobs is enormous.
“The passion for protest can turn into one for change in our behaviours to create a safer world. The question we should ask is, are we going to work together to fix this? The clock is ticking.”
Also speaking, Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, said: “Today, we feel the weight of history on our shoulders. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how fragile the world is.
“A microscopic virus has put us on our knees. That fragility should make us humble. The whole planet is at stake, so this is a time to recognize that the way we have been moving leads nowhere.
If you look at the response of people to COVID-19, they dramatically change their lives.
“People have shown an enormous capacity to adapt through circumstances and change the way they live, work, and organize themselves. So change is possible. The problem is political will.”
While the duo didn’t speak in the documentary, Burna Boy performed his ‘Level Up’, a track from ‘Twice As Tall’, his 2020 album, while one of Beyonce’s UN performances was also included.