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

Test Analyst

£20000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Tes...

Mechanical Design Engineer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: MECHANICAL D...

SQL DBA (2005/2008/2012, projects, storage requirements)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Copywriter - Corporate clients - Wimbledon

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ed Miliband, talks image politics with Andrew Marr  

Ed Miliband’s Question Time ripoff: Another proposal about style, not substance

Bobby Friedman
Tiger skin seized from a smuggler by customs officers in Lhasa, Tibet  

Save the tiger: Poaching facts

Harvey Day
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried