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Actor Hugh Jackman helped launch Climate Week NYC 2009 on Monday, September 21, at the New York Public Library.

Jackman – an ambassador for World Vision – joined former British prime minister Tony Blair and others to launch the event.

“I hope to be a voice for the billion people in developing countries who will be the hardest hit by changing weather patterns, by the droughts and floods that destroy their crops and threaten their food security,” said Jackman. “Climate Week NYC provides an ideal forum to help underscore the urgency for world leaders to secure and fund an ambitious global climate change deal in Copenhagen that is effective, fair and binding.”

Jackman was referring to the UN Climate Summit, being held this week in Copenhagen.

As an ambassador to World Vision, Jackman has witnessed farmers in Africa who are struggling to continue working in the face of climate change. He told the story of a coffee farmer who he met when he visited in Ethiopia a year ago.

“On this trip it really gelled for me that you can’t separate the issues of climate change and poverty,” he said. “They are inextricably linked. Having been to Ethiopia and seen these farmers, seen the battle they face from what is a problem that the developed countries have brought on many of these developing countries, there is a justice, there is a gap we need to fill.”

He also talked about his own carbon footprint.

“I don’t do private jets. I try and do my best and I teach [sustainability] to my kids. It’s humbling, it’s embarrassing sometimes, when you go to Dukalee’s farm who has nothing and who’s doing no harm by shovelling manure, and there’s me in my lovely apartment. Deb [wife Deborra-lee Furness] and I have brought in a company to say what we can do in our home – change light bulbs, etc.

“Everyone does their best.”

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