Two hundred of the world’s most prominent artists and scientists signed an open letter in French daily Le Monde on Monday calling for urgent political action to address the “global catastrophe” facing mankind and other species.
The letter, penned by actress Juliette Binoche and astrophycist Aurélien Barrau, called on politicians to act “firmly and immediately” in tackling climate change and the “collapse of biodiversity”, described as the “greatest challenge in the history of mankind”.
“It is time to get serious,” the signatories said. “The sixth mass extinction is taking place at unprecedented speed. But it is not too late to avert the worst.”
The letter said it was up to politicians to take all necessary measures, however unpopular they may be.
Binoche was joined by fellow French actresses Isabelle Adjani, Marion Cotillard and Catherine Deneuve as well as artist Anish Kapoor; actors Bradley Cooper, Willem Defoe, Ethan Hawke, Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Charlotte Rampling and John Tuturro; directors David Cronenberg and Wim Wenders; and many others.
Prominent scientists who signed on included astrophysicist Françoise Combes, climatologist Jean Jouzel, mathematician Mikhaïl Gromov and physicist Carlo Rovelli.
The letter comes as French President Emmanuel Macron is under pressure to do more to deliver on his green promises after his high-profile ecology minister, Nicolas Hulot, suddenly resigned, citing his disappointment with progress on the environment.
A popular figure, Hulot resigned live on-air during a radio interview last week, saying he felt "all alone" in the government on environmental issues and blasting lobbies and big business for hindering the fight against climate change.