On Friday, June 23rd, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and representatives from the Schwarzenegger Institute and the R20: Regions of Climate Action met with President Emmanuel Macron and First Lady Brigitte Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France. President Macron and Governor Schwarzenegger spent the majority of the meeting discussing the future of the COP21 Paris Agreement and related environmental issues. The two leader agreed to support the initiative in the face of opposition from Washington and to continue campaigning for renewable energy and a safer, cleaner environment. Governor Schwarzenegger explained that opposition to emissions laws is nothing new and told the story of how his administration turned to the courts when Washington tried to stop California classifying greenhouse gases as pollutants. Californian won that fight and Schwarzenegger said he believed that the Paris Agreement would survive the Trump Administration's decision to pull America out of the Accord.
President Macron outlined some of the measures France was taking to protect the Agreement, namely streamlined financing for renewable energy projects, worker training and a green entrepreneurial initiative, and his efforts to speed up the adoption of renewable energy in both the developed and developing worlds. He also said that he welcomed the opportunity to work with Governor Schwarzenegger, the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and the R20 in building consensus among local and regional governments throughout the world.
Governor Schwarzenegger also used the meeting to tell President Macron about the mission of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy and to highlight some of the global collaborations that he is engaged in through the organization. Governor Schwarzenegger added that the Institute's staff and resources were available to the President and his team whenever needed.
President Macron and Governor Schwarzenegger concluded their meeting by filming a short video where they agreed to help "make the planet great again."