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14 December - Arnold Schwazenegger urges US leadership & strikes back at climate sceptics

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California, has urged the United States Government to take a lead in the fight against climate change.

He said that it would be 'incredible' if America makes a commitment that helped secure a global framework on climate change in Copenhagen this week.


'It would be good for the whole world . . . if the US becomes the power behind the movement,' he told the Financial Times.


'America within 10 years could get 20% of its power needs from renewables,' he said. 'We have sun, wind - you can even now get oil from algae. There is a green revolution [in California] but the whole US could be leading like that.'


Mr Schwarzenegger, who will be attending the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen this week, also called on cities, states and other sub-national governments, urging them not to wait for a binding deal before taking action to curb emissions.


'International agreements, as critical as they are, will never do enough,' he said he would tell the conference this week, when he will also meet Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, and Boris Johnson, London's mayor, the FT said.


Mr Schwarzenegger, who is a leading figure within the Republican party, also launched a direct attack on Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential election, who has questioned the existence on man-made climate change.


'You have to ask: what was she trying to accomplish? Is she really interested in this subject or is she interested in her career and in winning the nomination [for president]?'


The governor also addressed leaked 'Climategate' e-mails that indicated some scientists had been selective in their use of data to back up research on global warming.


'I understand there are mistakes made in the environmental community but I see [the impact of global warming] first hand, with the fires we have in California and the lack of water in the state,' he said.


Related links

Schwarzenegger urges US to lead climate battle, Financial Times 14 December 2009

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