Governor Schwarzenegger joined French President Emmanuel Macron, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and over 50 world leaders at the One Planet Summit in Paris to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement and to add momentum to the fight against global warming. President Trump did not attend the meeting but his decision to pull the United States out of the international climate agreement cast a long shadow over the proceedings and helped galvanize support for international efforts to protect the environment, reduce pollution and promote energy efficacy.
Governor Schwarzenegger speaking first to French student activists and then to the world leaders participating in the global summit reminded his audiences that “Donald Trump pulled Donald Trump out of the Paris agreement, so don’t worry about that. We at a sub-national level are going to pick up the slack and continue on. We will fight and we will create the kind of future for our children and grandchildren because that is our responsibility and no one will stop us. It doesn’t matter that Donald Trump backed out of the Paris agreement, because the private sector didn’t drop out, the public sector didn’t drop out, the universities didn’t drop out, the scientists didn’t drop out, the engineers didn’t drop out. No one else dropped out,”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg who is Chair of the Board of the C40, echoing those sentiments, told the One Planet Summit that the President’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement appears to have a galvanizing effect on the international community, “I think we owe President Trump a bit of gratitude for helping us meet our climate goals.”
President Macron did not specifically mention President Trump in his remarks but did remind the gathered leaders that that the public and private sectors need to work together “because it’s not one person in one country who changes things.” President Macron also used the summit to announce 12 #OnePlanet commitments that will help combat global warming the years ahead. The 12 commitments focus heavily on moving to a zero emissions future and helping developing nations accelerate their transition to a clean energy future. Representatives from many banks, sovereign wealth funds, philanthropists and NGOs who attended the summit pledged to help provide the public and private investments needed to bridge the gap between current commitments and what is needed to stay below a 2-degrees temperature rise and avoid catastrophic climate change.
Arriving by bicycle Governor Schwarzenegger met with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo to discuss the continued importance of subnational action at both the state and city level.
Governor Schwarzenegger representing both the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and the R20: Regions of Climate Action pledged that the two organizations he chairs will continue to support initiatives that help both developed and developing nations reduce carbon emission and become more energy efficient. Schwarzenegger specifically mentioned the Environmental Digital Handbook, recently launched by the Institute in partnership with the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, as a tool that local, regional and national governments can use it to find smart, easily replicable, legislation that both protects the environment and helps strengthen the economy. Governor Schwarzenegger, comparing the handbook to workout plans that that he used when he started body building called it a “green training manual for cities and states that can serve as a foundation for any subnational leader who wants to jumpstart their transition to clean energy and job growth.”