Arnold Schwarzenegger Attacks Leaders Who Don’t Recognize Climate Change

Arnold Schwarzenegger recently attacked global leaders who, he thinks, haven't done enough to combat the climate change crisis.

By Erika Hanson | Published

This article is more than 2 years old


The Terminator has given up his hostile assassin ways to fight a new battle, particularly battling the world climate crisis. In a wide-ranging interview for BBC Radio 4’s 39 Ways to Save the Planet series, Arnold Schwarzenegger opened up about his anger at world leaders who don’t recognize, and more importantly, don’t act on climate change. The “Governator”, who has been a long-time climate activist, took to the media to express his views on radicalizing climate policies as he prepares to attend the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland next week.

In the interview for BBC, Arnold Schwarzenegger ripped apart world leaders and their lack of responsibility in the global climate crisis. Schwarzenegger stated that even environmentalists seemingly “have a problem with communicating” citing a parallel to his time in Hollywood. Schwarzenegger also went on to say, “If you’re going to sell a movie you can’t talk about how you did the financing or what special effects you used, you have to tell the story, you have to make people go and see the movie, seduce them in.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger became a proponent of climate change policies during his run as California’s governor from 2003 to 2011. Through his tenure in politics, the Republican governor signed the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 along with a slew of executive orders and bills surrounding climate change. With Schwarzenegger at the helm, California was able to sharply reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Under his term, the state saw a 25% decrease in gas emissions, taking them to the lowest levels seen since 1990 while conjunctively raising the state’s economy to be the fifth-largest in the world. His Global Warming Solutions Act also pledged to continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pledging to bring the number below 80% of the 1900 level by the year 2050.

arnold schwarzenegger

Nearing the end of his term in office, Arnold Schwarzenegger launched the R20 climate network. As an alliance of regional leaders pledging to work together and take action on climate change,  the initiative aims to accelerate sub-national infrastructure investments in the green economy. Likewise, the former governor created the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative, for which he teamed up with climate activist leaders from the Australian World Summit to act on climate change. 

And Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t the only climate activist to recently call out world leaders for their lack of action. Swedish climate and environmental activist Greta Thunberg also denounced the world’s leaders in the recent Youth 4 Climate Summit this past September, citing the fact that many vulnerable countries have yet to receive funding from world leaders promised almost two years ago. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger will be attending the United Nations COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow next week. The summit will be host to leaders from over 200 countries as they assess their plan of action going forward in the face of climate change over the week-long meeting. This summit is seen as a make-or-break moment for making any significant climate changes for the future. Although it was decided at the 2015 Paris Agreement that each country would come up with firm action plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many failed to submit those plans, and motions were further pushed back due in part to the global coronavirus pandemic. 

The iconic actor and bodybuilder claims that going green doesn’t necessarily mean giving up things. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he has reduced his meat intake by around three-quarters in the last few years but argues he is “gaining” as a result. He also claimed that technology is inventing solutions to the climate problems, citing his massive Hummer that he switched from diesel to electric, subsequently making his ride faster. While Schwarzenegger is planning to attend the summit next week, he doesn’t have much faith in the summit’s ability to make any real changes. However, the actor remains optimistic for the future-much like the words of John Conner articulated in The Terminator, “There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.”