Adam Mckay, Billie Eilish, and Jon Stewart were among the many change-makers acknowledged for environmental messaging in the Media at the EMA awards 2022 in Hollywood. 

For over two decades, The Environmental Media Association has been on a mission to bring the planet’s most pressing environmental issues to the forefront of pop culture and to inspire the next generation of change-makers.

Earlier in October, the association celebrated the artists and storytellers leading the way in environmental messaging in the media. 

The EMA Awards Gala was held in Los Angeles and hosted by ‘Just Shoot Me’ stars David Spade and Wendie Malick.  ‘Walking the talk,’ the event took place on a carbon-neutral lot at Sunset Studios and served a sustainable vegan menu and eco-friendly wines.  Accolades were given across a range of mediums including fiction and nonfiction storytelling, comedy, music, and innovation. 

The award for Best Feature Film went to Don’t Look Up, the climate change allegory created by comedic writer Adam McKay, which featured a stellar cast of some of Hollywood’s leading actors including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, and Meryl Streep. 

Don’t Look Up smashed Netflix records when it attracted 152 million viewing hours in its first seven days – making it the most viewed first week of a film in the platform’s history.  The film also worked with the impact organisation Count Us In to create a climate impact campaign, which catalysed over half a million people to take action on global warming. 

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Musician and global superstar Billie Eilish was acknowledged for using her massive platform to champion environmental causes. Billie and her mother, Maggie Baird, were jointly awarded the Missions in Music Award for serving as role models for climate action and food justice. 

The mother-daughter pair launched Overheated, a climate-inspired festival held at London’s O2 arena that featured keynote speakers, documentary screenings, clothes swaps, and conversations around plant-based diets. 

Eilish partnered with REVERB to ensure all her events were environmentally friendly, offset emissions, eliminated waste, and served and promoted plant-based food. 

The mother-daughter pair also founded Support+Feed, an intersectional nonprofit organisation dedicated to combating the climate crisis by providing food-insecure communities with access to plant-based meals. 

Eilish joins an inspiring line of previous Mission in Music honourees including Willie Nelson, Adam Levine, Don Henley, Diane Warren, Alanis Morissette, and Dave Mathews.  

The best Reality TV episode was snapped up by The End is Nye, a 6 part docu-series that follows celebrity scientist Bill Nye on a journey through the realities of natural and unnatural threats to human existence and explores how they can be combated or prevented. 

Nikki Reed took home the Innovator Award for her sustainable jewellery line BaYou with Love, which straddles the worlds of technology, art, and the environment by using recycled gold from technology for its hand-made creations. 

Yellowstone took home the award for best TV drama, the Best Documentary was awarded to Eating Our Way to Extinction, and The Problem With Jon Stewart (Climate Change) picked up the Variety Television award. 

In addition to inspiring the media industry to include more environmental messaging in their programming, the EMA also accredits production companies with ‘Green Seal and Gold Seals’ which recognise progress in sustainable production practices including reduced fossil fuel use, reuse and recycling, sustainable building materials, LED lighting and food donations. The EMA Green Seal has become the environmental standard in America and has lead the way for sustainable production practices globally. 132 EMA Gold Seals and 154 Green Seals were recognised on the night. 

Founded in 1989, the EMA is one of the leading voices for environmental education in media globally. The extensive board of advisory directors includes an impressive collection of international celebrities and influencers including Jaden Smith, Rosario Dawson, Van Jones and Daryl Hannah. 

The organisation also has an ‘Activist Board’ which features a diverse range of youth and minority voices and is chaired by the Founder of Black Girl Environmentalist, Wawa Gatheru. 

The EMA also hosts an annual two-day IMPACT SUMMIT which includes keynote talks from business, art, and environmental thought leaders and a ‘shark-tank’ like pitch competition with a $50,000 prize. The organisation also host regular EMA talks and have recently announced a new Creator Fund. 

The EMA awards ceremony is available to watch on Youtube. 

Featured image: The Environmental Media Association (EMA)

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