Leonardo DiCaprio criticized for taking private jet to receive environmental award

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NEW YORK — Academy Award-winner Leonardo DiCaprio has millions of fans for his work on the big screen. But he’s got a growing fanbase in the environmentalist community as well for his outspoken activism on climate change, and a number of conservation issues.

Unfortunately for Leo, environmentalists aren’t big fans of private planes, which is why the actor drew criticism when he flew on one to receive an environmentalist award.

DiCaprio flew from Cannes to New York to collect a “Big Fish” award by Riverkeeper, an organization that works to protect New York’s rivers.

The star was at the Cannes Film Festival and jetted back to collect the award. He was spotted back at Cannes less than 24 hours later.

Environmental analyst Robert Rapier told PageSix.com that DiCaprio’s cavalier jetsetting was hypocritical and “diminishes his moral authority to lecture others on reducing their own carbon emissions.”

“[He] demonstrates exactly why our consumption of fossil fuels continues to grow. It’s because everyone loves the combination of cost and convenience they offer. Alternatives usually require sacrifice of one form or another.” Rapier said. “Everybody says, ‘I’ve got a good reason for consuming what I consume’… It’s the exact same rationalization for billions of people.”

DiCaprio posted a photo of himself accepting the award on Instagram with the caption,”It was an honor to join Ralph Lauren, Robert De Niro, Robert F Kennedy Jr & more to support Riverkeeper’s critical work to create and protect a healthier future for millions of people.”

A source close to DiCaprio told Page Six that the actor didn’t charter his own flights, but rather “hitched a ride with someone already flying back [and] to Cannes. Hitching a ride was the only way he could make it in time for both events.”

DiCaprio’s foundation recently pledged $15 million to environmental causes at this year’s World Economic Forum.

Cannes’ annual festival for amFAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, raised $25 million, including $500,000 for an auctioned stay at DiCaprio’s Palm Springs, Calif., home, while the Riverkeeper event reportedly brought in $1.6 million.