Marion Cotillard Launches Eiffel Tower Installation Ahead of Paris Climate Talks

Marion Cotillard - H 2015
AP Images

Marion Cotillard - H 2015

“Paris has been a little shaken by what happened,” says the actress. “This should be important for everybody. We are at a turning point."

The blue, white and red tricolors that have draped the Eiffel Tower since the terror attacks on Nov. 13 have been replaced by green as the city turns its attention to the COP21 climate change talks that will take place in the city over the next two weeks.

Now the tower will become a virtual forest with trees and words encouraging environmental activism projected onto it every evening. Marion Cotillard and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon inaugurated the light installation created by artist Naziha Mestoui on the eve of the official opening of the conference.

“Paris has been a little shaken by what happened,” Cotillard tells The Hollywood Reporter. “But we’re capable." No fewer than 130 heads of state from around the world are expected at the talks as the city is still on security lockdown.

“It’s the survival of our species and all species on earth," she continues. "This should be important for everybody. We are at a turning point.” The Oscar winner serves as ambassador for the 1 Heart 1 Tree organization behind the project. “In my life I have the chance to be connected to amazing people, like Naziha and [French environmentalist] Nicolas Hulot, and it’s part of my life to use this opportunity to discuss the problems that face the earth because of human beings.”

Adds the actress: “I think that if you start discussing the issues with a group of people, they will discuss with another group of people and then another group of people, and it will continue to spread. This is how we can start to think about solutions, well to start to think period. And that’s what we are going to do together over the next two weeks, and I will go everywhere I can to raise awareness.”

The project is aimed at raising funds, too. People from all over the world can download the 1 Heart 1 Tree app or visit their website and buy a virtual tree which will then be projected on the Eiffel Tower along with their name or message. The donation will go to planting a tree through the charity’s reforestation programs in seven countries.

Ki-Moon, flanked by Kayapo tribal chief Raoni and other Amazonians fighting for forest preservation, implored those present to lobby their leaders in the coming weeks: “I see a growing political moment, I see all the stars aligning in one political direction,” he said. “As the secretary-general of the U.N. I’m telling you – you should raise your voices, you make your leaders account to their promises. We have to make this work. From here, with your help, we can only grow stronger and taller as this great Eiffel Tower.”

The remarks, however, followed a day in which police arrested protestors who had gathered despite a government ban on the public march following the terror attacks.

Cotillard has been outspoken on environmental issues and the issue of climate change. Last year, she stood in a cage in front of the Louvre to protest the arrest of Greenpeace activists in Russia.