Arnold Schwarzenegger angered by the climate policies of world leaders

Arnold Schwarzenegger says leaders who claim that the fight against climate change is hurting the economy are “stupid or lying.”

Ahead of the COP26 climate summit, the former governor of California told the BBC that reducing carbon emissions will benefit global economies.

The Terminator actor said cutting down on his meat doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing something – instead, cutting his own has resulted in him being healthier.

He also tackled pollution caused by international trade.

In a broad interview for BBC Radio 4’s 39 Ways to Save the Planet series, Mr Schwarzenegger claimed that California’s continued economic success and prolific job creation prove that reducing carbon dioxide and increasing of wealth go hand in hand.

“They’re liars, they’re stupid. Or they don’t know how to do it, because we’ve figured out how to do it and it’s about having the balls to do it,” he said.

Mr Schwarzenegger became a champion of clean air and renewable energy while he was governor between 2003 and 2011 – setting targets to reduce exhaust fumes and greenhouse gas emissions.

Arnold Schwarzenegger (left) argued that green policies would benefit economies around the world

Since leaving office, he has used his notoriety and influence to promote policies to reduce carbon emissions, notably with the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative.

Mr. Schwarzenegger also criticizes an environmental program focused on the sacrifice of lifestyle.

The former champion bodybuilder says he’s cut his meat intake by around three-quarters in recent years, but claims he’s “winning” as a result.

“Since eating more vegetables and plant-based foods, my cardiologist said my arteries stopped narrowing,” he said.

“So how did I give up something? I got my health back, it gave me two more years.”

Mr Schwarzenegger also thinks the technology provides solutions and cites his Hummer – a huge military-style all-terrain vehicle – that it has gone from diesel to battery-powered as evidence, given that the electric version goes more. fast with more power.

“Smart about competition”

He was particularly alarmed about air pollution and greenhouse gases from shipping, and suggested that the most important thing we can do as individuals to reduce carbon emissions is to buy locally.

“Buy local produce. Every time you buy something abroad it’s bad for the environment – it’s the worst thing you can do.”

When asked whether, as a Republican politician, he should support the global capitalism that drives this kind of commerce, Mr. Schwarzenegger rejected this characterization.

“You can have competition but you have to be smart about it… because if people are dead, they are dead.

He plans to attend the climate talks in Glasgow next week, but doesn’t have much faith in the top-down system – preferring to see the solution come from popular pressure and technological change.

However, Mr. Schwarzenegger remains optimistic and still believes: “There is no destiny except what we do for ourselves.”

You can listen to Arnold Schwarzenegger full interview on BBC Sounds.

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