A Kiwi schoolgirl has got the thumbs up from actor Leonardo DiCaprio and now she’s set to address world leaders on why urgent action is needed on sustainable development.
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Brittany Trilford, a year 13 student at Wellington’s Queen Margaret College, has won a global youth video speech competition and will next month speak to delegates at the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Hundreds of young people from around the world submitted entries to the Date With History competition.
Online voting whittled the entries down to 22 finalists, before a star-studded jury, which included DiCaprio and actress Hayden Panettiere, decided on the winner.
In her speech, Brittany said she wanted leaders to start leading on issues like sustainable development.
She said innovation, imagination and creativity are needed to work out how best we can use resources without compromising the natural environment.
“To tackle our problems, there are definitely ideas out there. Our leaders just have to a) listen, and b) be open minded and persistent enough to give these ideas a chance,” Brittany said.
“I want a future where we run with natural processes and not against them. I want a future where leaders will stop talking and start acting.”
More than 130 heads of state, vice-presidents, heads of government and deputy prime ministers are expected to speak at the Earth Summit.