"Trail-blazer" Arnold Schwarzenegger wins first annual climate award for leadership
- 18 December 2009
COPENHAGEN (15 December 2009): California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was awarded The Climate Group and South Australia's first annual Regional Leadership award by chair of The Climate Group's States and Regions Alliance Premier Mike Rann of South Australia.
Accepting the award on the sidelines of the UN climate summit in Copenhagen at a special reception hosted by The Climate Group, The Climate Registry and the Climate Action Reserve, the Governor issued a rousing call to action to 300 Premiers, Governors, Ministers, business leaders, policymakers and NGOs from around the world. He called on them to act now and in concert, regardless of the outcome of the global negotiations.
Governor Schwarzenegger said: "It is the sub-national governments that have to show leadership. We did not wait for Washington. We passed a law rolling back emissions 25 per cent from 1990 levels. We started a million solar roof initiative, and a hydrogen highway."
Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, said: "By putting the first emissions reduction targets into law, California has blazed a trail for all governments around the world and most importantly Governor Schwarzenegger's personal leadership on climate change has inspired others to follow."
Praising California's leadership, Premier Rann said South Australia would match California's target of 33 per cent of its electricity produced from renewable sources by 2020. The award will be given each year to the state or regional leader internationally who had done the most to tackle climate change. Each recipient will be honored by a tree planting ceremony as part of South Australia's Urban Forest initiative
Other speakers at the reception included Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire, Quebec Premier Jean Charest, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, Cisco Vice President Simon Willis, Hewlett Packard Vice President of Sustainability Engelina Jaspers, and Executive Governor Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan of the Delta region, Nigeria.