LONDON - Turning a blind eye to climate change will come at a price the world can no longer afford to pay, the director of a documentary produced by Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio said on Monday.
"We can no longer turn a blind eye to the issue of climate change. We are at a crucial moment where if we don't act now, we will forever pay the price," Fisher Stevens said in a statement. "My hope is that this film provides a global wake-up call about our inevitable fate should we fail to act."
The film follows environmental activist DiCaprio and Stevens as they travel from Canada's oil sands to tiny Pacific islands, interviewing world leaders such as the Catholic Church's Pope Francis and U.S. President Barack Obama, climate scientists and academics.
DiCaprio's interview subjects discuss and document the negative impacts of industrialization and increasing consumption on the health of the planet.
"The fact that we are still debating any of this is just utter insanity to me," DiCaprio told the audience after the film's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.
Oscar-winning DiCaprio said he rushed to release his upcoming climate change documentary ahead of November's U.S. presidential elections to issue a clarion call to American voters in time to influence their decisions.
"We cannot afford, at this critical moment in time, to have leaders in office that do not believe in the modern science of climate change," DiCaprio said.
On Friday, U.N. officials said at least 20 countries had indicated they would join the Paris climate change agreement at a United Nations event on Sept. 21.
This was in addition to the 27 that had already done so, raising hopes the deal will enter into force by the end of 2016.
To take effect, the Paris climate agreement needs ratification by at least 55 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, representing at least 55 percent of global emissions.
"Before the Flood" will premiere in Europe at the BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 15 and airs on National Geographic Channel globally on Oct. 30.
DiCaprio, who won an Oscar this year for playing a fur trapper battling nature's elements in "The Revenant," was an executive producer on 2014 Oscar-nominated documentary "Virunga," about the threatened gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.