Gov Schwarzenegger: "Green rules and regulations" will help planet, economy

8 December 2008

POZNAN, POLAND: California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today told UN delegates gathered at The Climate Group's second annual States and Regions Climate Leaders Summit in Poland that green rules and regulations will help both the climate and the economy.

Speaking today in a video message to international environment ministers and regional government leaders from the US, Europe, India, Australia and Africa, California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said: "States and provinces have long been at the forefront of developing green technologies and protecting our economy so that they are setting great examples for our federal counterparts."

He said: "Of course, there are some people who say that we can't afford the fight against global warming while our economies are down; but the exact opposite is true. The green rules and regulations that will help save our planet will also revive our economies."

Watch Governor Schwarzenegger's Video Message

Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, hosting the Summit said: "More of the world's states and regions must become laboratories for low carbon development. The window of opportunity for our world leaders to break the deadlock around a new global climate deal is closing. Tomorrow's global economy cannot afford any crisis of climate leadership today."

Governor Schwarzenegger also said he would personally travel to next year's UN climate summit in Copenhagen to support president elect Barack Obama's recent pledge that the United States federal government would match efforts of states and other nations in leading the fight against climate change.

The leadership of sub-national governments - many of which constitute globally significant economies in their own right - is fast emerging as one of the key levers in the worldwide effort to combat climate change.

Governor Schwarzenegger's own US state of California - the world's fifth largest economy and the world's twelfth biggest emitter of carbon dioxide - was recently praised by president elect Barack Obama for its efforts to reduce emissions.

California is this week finalising work on implementing its landmark AB32 climate legislation aimed at cutting state emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The new laws are estimated to generate US$4 billion in income; increase Gross Regional Product by US$60 billion; and create 103,000 new jobs over the same period.

The Governor today said dozens of businesses had voiced "enthusiastic support" for California's proposed green laws, saying: "study after study has shown that our approach will save consumers money, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and create billions in new payroll."

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