Nikolaj Coster-Waldau definitely knows his audience. Coster-Waldau, an actor famed for his portrayal of military hero/conflicted brother Jaime Lannister on HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’, began his tenure as a goodwill ambassador for the UN Development Program with an op-ed that made specific reference to one locale even casual fans know quite well.
“One of the many stunning visual images on regular display is an overwhelmingly massive wall of ice,” Coster-Waldau wrote, in reference to the wall that divides the fictional kingsom of Westeros from the vast and untamed freezing North. “I know all too well that, were Game of Thrones a nonfiction world, that wall of ice would be seriously imperiled by climate change.”
Image courtesy of Grumpy Fish
Coster-Waldau, a Dane married to a woman from the North Atlantic island of Greenland, spoke of the horror of watching the Greenland ice sheet–80% of the island’s surface—melt, threatening his wife and children’s ancestral home as well as the rest of the planet with sea levels that could rise as high as 20 feet (6 meters).
From there, Coster-Waldau began to get into the solutions part of his call, laying out the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) created by the UN to combat all of the most looming climate threats simultaneously. “Failing to act on one, such as climate change, can have enormous negative consequences on another, such as hunger, poverty, ocean life, energy and even education,” he stated.
Image courtesy of UN.DK
He also praised the recent efforts of countries like India and China to push forward renewable energy investment, as well the UNLEASH Lab’s commitment to bringing young leaders in Demark and elsewhere together to brainstorm innovative approaches to fulfilling the SDG’s.
Coster-Waldau ended his column with a plea for the future of his family and the world. “We must not bury our heads in the sand when it comes to climate change — we must instead have the courage to make other changes to preserve the stability and safety of our planet,” he declared.
Now, if only he could convince his alter ego to fight those damn white walkers too…
Featured image courtesy of Travel + Leisure.