Arnold Schwarzenegger: It's not a time for talk. It's a time for action

The Terminator: There's no doubt about the science. Now we must all gear our economies to take on global warming

Share
Related Topics

During the past 18 months, we created the 25 million-acre Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the largest conservancy in the nation; we opened the path to the Hydrogen Highway, which will encourage the building of hydrogen fuelling stations and the use of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles; we sponsored the first Ocean Protection Act in the nation to protect and restore our ocean resources; and we secured permanent funding to reduce emissions from dirty engines and equipment.

In addition, with our Green Building Initiative, we have put the biggest user of electricity in California - the state government itself - on an energy diet. By requiring new state buildings to use the latest environmentally friendly and energy efficient design and construction methods, we will reduce electricity and water use by more than 20 per cent in our state-owned facilities.

Now it is time for Californians to seriously address the issue of climate change and its potential to create havoc with our environment and economy. The debate is over. We know the science. We see the threat posed by changes in our climate. And we know the time for action is now.

I launched our effort when California hosted the United Nations World Environment Day Conference in San Francisco last month, where leaders from around the world gathered to discuss our shared responsibility for protecting the earth. It was there that I signed an executive order to establish clear and ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our state: by the year 2010 our goal is to reduce our emissions to less than those we produced in 2000; by 2020 our goal is to make our emissions lower than 1990 levels; and by 2050 our goal is to reduce overall emissions to a full 80 per cent below those we produced in 1990.

Greenhouse gases are emitted from every sector of the economy, and these pollutants blanket the globe, trapping heat and creating the "greenhouse" effect, often referred to as global warming. Global warming threatens California's water supply, public health, agriculture, coastlines and forests - our entire economy and way of life. We have no choice but to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In order to achieve our goals, we are implementing California's landmark greenhouse gas law, which requires lower-emitting vehicles to be sold in our state, starting in 2009. We are accelerating the timetable to get more energy from renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geo-thermal and bio-mass conversion to 20 per cent by 2010 and 33 per cent by 2020. We have implemented the world's most stringent appliance and building efficiency standards. We are aggressively pursuing with the legislature my proposal to have one million solar-powered homes and buildings in California to save energy and reduce pollution. We are greening the state's fleet of government vehicles, to be the most fuel-efficient in the world.

These steps are great for the environment and great for our economy, too. Many people have falsely assumed that you have to choose between protecting the environment and protecting the economy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In California, we will do both.

That is why I am travelling around the state and my administration is holding a series of conservation summits for businesses around California, spreading the word that pollution reduction is good.

Pollution reduction has long been a money saver for businesses. It lowers operating costs, raises profits and creates new and expanded markets for environmental technology.

Many private businesses in California are cutting greenhouse gas emissions by simply improving efficiency. Others are also implementing cutting-edge hydrogen fuel technologies, installing advanced solar power systems and constructing environmentally friendly buildings.

And best of all, many California companies are participating in the public and private partnerships that are being formed with the state and some of our leading universities and research centres to find innovative means to create a cleaner and healthier environment.

All of these environmental technologies will allow us to conserve energy, cut pollution, protect our natural resources and create jobs for Californians. We must all accept the challenge to protect our environment. In California, I am pleased that we are once again providing leadership in this critical area. We understand that in this world in which we live, our actions sometimes have unintended consequences for our land, air and water. As John Muir, an immigrant from your islands who launched America's conservation movement here in California, once said: "When one tugs at a single thing in nature he finds it attached to the rest of the world." I ask citizens and governments everywhere to do their part by conserving energy, reducing the use of fossil fuels, reducing waste and taking every opportunity to work together for a cleaner, healthier tomorrow. It is not enough for us to be just caretakers of the world that we have been given, we must leave it a better place for future generations.

This is our duty to those who share this world with us and to those who follow us.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is Governor of California

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Mary Christmas: the Bethlehem story is Mary's moment, when a poor peasant girl gives birth to the Son of God in a stable  

The appeal of the Virgin Mary: A supernatural hope at a time of scepticism

Peter Stanford
 

Letters: Why Cameron is wrong about EU child benefits

Independent Voices
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there