Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Austrian World Summit in Vienna on July 1. Lisa Leutner/AP
Arnold Schwarzenegger says leaders who argue acting on climate will hurt the economy are lying.
His comments come ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Scotland.
He says he is driving an electric car and has reduced his meat consumption by 70% to 80%.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said any world leaders warning that fighting the climate crisis would damage the economy were “liars” or “stupid.”
“All of these countries that come and give speeches, ‘We are not going to go and lose jobs because of going green,’ and all this other stuff, they’re liars or they’re just stupid and they don’t know how to do it,” he told the BBC, adding that “it’s all about having the balls to do it.”
Schwarzenegger did not name any particular countries.
The “Terminator” actor and Republican politician said the environmental policies he enacted as California governor from 2003 to 2011 proved that “when you go green” it is “the best job creator.”
Speaking about California, he said: “We are number one economically in the US, with a GDP of $3.3 trillion, and that at the same time makes us the fifth economy in the world” while having what he called “the strictest environmental laws.”
His comments were published ahead of the COP26 global climate summit that is convening next week in Scotland.
Schwarzenegger, who previously said environmentalism could be “sexy” and “hip,” rejected the idea that mitigating climate change meant asking people to “give up” things.
“If I went from a 300-horsepower Hummer that was diesel-fueled, and now I go and build an electric engine in there now it’s 480 horsepower, and now it’s electric – what did I give up?” he said.
The former bodybuilder also said he’d reduced his meat intake by “about 70%, or 80%,” and had seen health benefits from the switch.
“So how have I given up something?” he said. “I gained my health – it gave me an extra two years.”
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