Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday deemed the global coronavirus crisis a “tremendous opportunity” to “remake societies” based on clean energy.
Schwarzenegger urged governments not to “invest in the past,” saying “forward-looking decisions” are needed now as trillions are being poured into rebuilding economies around the globe, AP reports.
“Forward-looking decisions are needed right now, right now as trillions of dollars and trillions of euros are being poured into rebuilding economies and infrastructure in the wake of the coronavirus,” he said on screen, speaking from a podium surrounded by plants.
“These funds are so massive they are capable of remaking societies. We have a tremendous opportunity here.”
The actor-turned-politician delivered his insights into remaking the world while speaking by video link from Los Angeles to the Austrian World Summit in Vienna, an offshoot of his climate initiative.
Schwarzenegger had intended to travel to his birth country Austria for the summit but cancelled on the advice of doctors — cheering on participants instead from an office with a poster of himself in younger days as a body-builder in the background.
This was not the first time Schwarzenegger has sought to position himself as a spokesman for the planet.
Last November he gushed over Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and shared pictures of the two going for a bike ride around Santa Monica, as Breitbart News reported.
He wrote: ‘It was fantastic to see my friend and one of my heroes @gretathunberg last week and go on a bike ride around Santa Monica together and I was so pumped to introduce her to my daughter Christina. Keep inspiring, Greta!’
It was fantastic to see my friend and one of my heroes @GretaThunberg last week and go on a bike ride around Santa Monica together and I was so pumped to introduce her to my daughter Christina. Keep inspiring, Greta! pic.twitter.com/3Q6ZuInJHY
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) November 4, 2019
Schwarzenegger also loaned his electric vehicle to the teen so she could travel to Canada for a protest without relying on fossil fuel-powered transportation.
The two had first met in May 2019 at a climate conference in Austria. Schwarzenegger shared a photo of himself with Thunberg, saying he was “starstruck.”
Among other speakers at the summit, which was launched four years ago, were Austrian, Slovakian and Croatian leaders, as well as European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans and other international public figures.