Schwarzenegger's Post-Governor Plan: Fight Climate Change


Photo credit: jurvetson via Flickr/CC BY

Arnold Schwarzenegger will not likely be remembered as California's most beloved governor -- he's leaving office with his approval rating in the 20% range. But history may be kinder to the legacy he leaves on climate action. Addressing global warming eventually became his trademark issue, with the passage of a climate bill that requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 often considered Schwarzenegger's crowning achievement. In defending the law from Texas oil companies, who attempted to shut it down with Prop 23, he demonstrated that he had a knack for sticking up for climate. Perhaps he'll continue that streak with his post-governor project: Starting his own climate action network.The Guardian reports:

In what is likely his last performance on a world stage as governor, Schwarzenegger this week launched the R20 climate network, an alliance of regional leaders who have pledged to work together to fight climate change. Schwarzenegger is the "founding father" of the new venture, a self-appointed global champion in the war against climate change ...

Schwarzenegger said he could see a place for himself mobilising world opinion - and investment capital - in support of clean tech projects around the world that together could help reduce global warming.

Whatever his shortcomings, Schwarzenegger has proved adept at playing the role of tough-guy climate advocate. Whether it's drumming up support for wind and solar, convincing venture capital to fight back against the campaign to cancel his climate law, or simply calling oil companies names, he's consistently proven an engaging figure on the green front. And thankfully, he seems to see it that way.

"I think that I have the talent of speaking the language in such a way so that the world understands it rather than making it complicated," he told the Guardian. Which means, no scientific wonkery, no coming to the defense of climate science with studied reason -- it means finding practical, real-world solutions to energy problems, promoting cleaner power sources, and leaving politics out of it as much as possible. But Schwarzenegger plans on doing more than talking:

The vehicle for this next stage of his life is the new R20 group of city and state leaders, which Schwarzenegger conjured into being at his climate summit this week.

The group, whose name is a conscious play on the G20 club of major world economies, is devoted to putting together clean energy projects in developing countries by recruiting finance from industrialised countries. The first wave of projects is likely to involve the installation of white roofs, which reflect the sun and keep houses cool, aides said.

Good luck, Governator.

More on Arnold Schwarzenegger
Schwarzenegger Blasts "Black Oil Hearts" of Prop 23 Backers ...
Arnold Terminates Offshore Drilling
California Governor Signs 29 Environmental Bills.

Tags: California | Global Climate Change | United States