<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/jumpycrawl#">Postcards from Copenhagen</a>

Postcards from Copenhagen

John Pickrell, on the ground at the Copenhagen Conference

Arnie on climate: "I'll be back"


Schwarzenegger is calling for cities, states, businesses and people to take mitigating the impacts of climate change into their own hands.

Credit: Government of Denmark

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G just sat in on a speech by Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He told delegates and press not to be disappointed with the outcome of the UN's Copenhagen Climate Conference. Even if doesn't lead to a binding treaty, it is significantly raising the global profile of the threat we face from climate change, he said, and will empower people to take their own actions.

"The world's governments alone cannot make the progress that is needed on global climate change," said Schwarzenegger, calling for states, regions, cities, universities, businesses and even individuals to take fixing the problem of global warming into their own hands. "Why do we put so many hopes and eggs in the national agreement target basket, when according to the UNFCCC [the UN's climate change body] itself, up to 80% of mitigation will happen at the sub-national level?"

"Movements begin with the people, not with government, and then when they become strong enough government responds," he added, citing the suffragette movement, the civil rights movement and the Vietnam anti-war movement in the US, as examples.

"While national governments have been fighting over targets, sub national governments have been setting their own targets, laws and policies," said Schwarzenegger, who three years ago committed California to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, in line with the targets of the Kyoto Protocol, which the US government refused to ratify.

Schwarzenegger asked the UN to consider convening a climate conference for leader of cities and states, which he offered to host in California, and finished with his Terminator catchphrase: "I'll be back."

Watch the full speech here on the web site of the UNFCCC.