At an event hosted by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, Governor Schwarzenegger and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti teamed up to address a packed theater on the impacts that environmental and climate actions have at the city and state level. In the hour long conversation the two leaders discussed President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement where they adopted a defiant tone and stressed that President's decision would have little impact on the actions of cities, states in America and other countries around the world.
Governor Schwarzenegger just back from an international trip explained that his message to the world is that "America did not drop out. One man dropped out. But America stayed in and continues to march toward a clean energy future." Schwarzenegger said that this confidence comes from that fact that renewable energy makes economic sense. He noted that "California has the strictest environmental laws, but at the same time we are number one in economic growth in America" and that solar power is considerably less expensive in India than coal and as a result 37 coal mines have been closed in that country in the past year.
Mayor Garcetti described his reaction to President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, "this president is so far out of whack with reality, with the science, with the economic needs and health concerns that we're just going to keep taking up the slack and running with it…no president can us I can't buy electric cars for the city of Los Angeles…this idea that it only come from the top down has never been the vision I had, so even when President Obama was president, the cities were were the action was at, the states were where the action was at…so waking up and seeing the the unfortunate withdrawal and the lack of leadership from the White House wasn't a sea of change." Mayor Garcetti also explained that his organization Climate Mayors added 100 cities to its membership in the 24 hours following Trump's announcement and has grown to 338 members to date.
Both Mayor Garcetti and former Governor Schwarzenegger lauded the importance of people power and working across political parties. Garcetti asked the audience to help him use social media to reach people in traditionally red states and Governor Schwarzenegger encouraged everyone in the room to host similar events and to invite the press to cover them, saying that "we can't keep talking to ourselves."Schwarzenegger also acknowledged the Institute's Global Director Bonnie Reiss describing her as a "treasure" who continues to help him navigate environmental and education issues and work with Democrats.
The event was hosted by CAA in Century City and the conversation was moderated by Rachel Kropa, Co-Director of the CAA Foundation.