The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been fighting pollution and climate change for nearly 20 years. His approach has always centred around the idea that we need "less talk, more action". During his tenure as Governor of California he worked to pass the Global Warming Solutions Act to cut emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, the Million Solar Roofs Initiative. He also worked with President Obama to create a national automotive emissions standard based on California’s regulations. These efforts helped make California the global leader in combating climate change, promoting renewable energy and finding innovative environmental solutions. More importantly, California has reached all of its environmental goals - emissions were reduced to 1990 standards two years early and a million solar roofs were built right on schedule without going over budget. At the same time, California’s economy has boomed, adding more jobs than any other state and rising to the fifth largest economy in the world.

After leaving office in 2011, he continued to promote state and local clean energy efforts by engaging nation and subnational governments and through the work of the Schwarzenegger Institute at the University of Southern California. Although much progress has been made there is still considerable work to do to make 2020 a "turning point" for international climate policy. Arnold Schwarzenegger is committed to that challenge and wants to continue to expand his activities and collaborate with partners throughout the world. He therefore established the “The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative,” the logical next step in his crusade for a clean and sustainable future. Monika Langthaler, who launched the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT together with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2017 is now also the Director of his initiative, which is based in Vienna.

The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative focuses on:

  • building awareness of the climate crisis and the urgent need for action every day and once a year at our AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT (AWS). The AWS, entering its fifth year, has become one of the largest environmental gatherings in the world and provides a platform for highlighting concrete solutions and measures from global decision-makers committed to preserving a healthy planet and decarbonizing the economy by 2050.
  • presenting workable solutions from all over the world and connecting these ideas to available technical and financial resources.
  • supporting best in class climate protection projects from all over the world.
  • serving as a "matchmaker" - we connect players from business, finance, NGOs and local & national governments committed to collaborating on sustainable projects.
The AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is the centrepiece of the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative: Since its founding 2017, the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT has become one of the largest climate conferences in the world thanks to the patronage of Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and with the support of the Schwarzenegger Institute and many generous sponsors. The Summit serves as the leading international "Matchmaker for Green Solutions" by presenting successful policies, best practice projects, and examples of cooperation and innovative solutions. Additionally, the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative recognizes the importance of reaching the global public and last year added the "Climate Kirtag" to the program. Over 10,000 people attended the open-air festival that featured famous Austrian musicians, celebrities and climate champions all committed to fighting pollution and climate change.

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