September 17, 2020
AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT 2020
On September 17, 2020 the fourth AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT took place despite the challenges posed by Covid-19. With a mixture of analog and digital elements, the summit set new standards and new viewer records. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the entire 3 hours conference as the host from Los Angeles. 250 guests - surrounded by 300 trees and bushes- and 27 speakers from 12 countries joined the summit at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Over 620.000 people watched the Livestream and the media coverage reached nearly 1,3 billion people all around the globe. Messages from prominent climate change activists all around the globe were presented - including Prince Charles, behavioral scientist Jane Goodall, UN Secretary General António Guterres, John Kerry (former US Secretary of State), Frans Timmermans (VicePresident of the European Commission), Pedro Sánchez (Prime Minister of Spain), Carlos Alvarado Quesada (President of Costa Rica), Imran Khan (Prime Minister of Pakistan) and director James Cameron.
July 28, 2020
New report focusing on forests
Our 2020 Special Report – the third in this series already – features a broad variety of international showcase projects and sustainable business models that contribute to intact forests in very different ways. The showcases range from conservation and reforestation initiatives, to forestry and construction projects, to the fashion and tourism sectors, to capacity building and financing etc. In the context of our Post Paris Navigator initiative, supported by the Austrian Development Agency, we carefully selected projects which benefit both climate and people in developing and emerging countries. Each of the presented examples discusses local impacts and benefits as well as important enabling factors. To complement this, fact boxes and additional information on forest-related topics are provided throughout the report, as well as general success factors and policy recommendations derived from the projects.
May 25, 2020
Climate crisis and Covid-19: addressing both crises at once
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is disruptive for the global economy and devastating for many people and their livelihoods, but we cannot take our attention away from the climate crisis. Rather we must recognize and analyze the parallels and connections of these two global crises. A green recovery must be the answers of these two crises.
This has been supported by institutional investors, global financial institutions, and officials in finance ministries and central banks. The challenge now is to create millions of jobs in the short term, enable innovation and economic diversification, and cut both carbon and air pollution and improving public health. Tackling the climate crisis and the health crisis at once!
Monika Langthaler about useful lessons from the pandemic for fighting the climate crisis (only German)
Europe is preparing the world’s greenest recovery package: The Green Deal
Business Ambition for 1,5°: Science Based Targets initiative
March 23, 2020
AWS and CLIMATE KIRTAG postponed
Due to the current situation concerning the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT and the CLIMATE KIRTAG are postponed to September 17, 2020. Everyone's health comes first and has the highest priority.
The motto remains "Be the Solution". With this in mind, an exciting, somewhat shortened conference program with practical solutions and great live acts on the Open-Air-Festival stage awaits our guests in September in Vienna (exact location yet to be fixed). In terms of content, there will be a new focus in addition to the topics already planned: How can we continue to be ambitious in international climate policy despite or even because of challenges like the corona virus? What do we learn from current crisis management strategies? How can we prevent millions of deaths caused by climate change and environmental pollution worldwide by taking swift action?
January 23, 2020
Charity Auction: 900.000€ for climate protection
"Don´t listen to the naysayers! People said to me last year that another event in Kitzbühel won´t work – that there are already too many parties and we didn’t need another fundraiser. And today, we are completely sold out and we are raising a fortune for a great cause. But I always say there is no such thing as a self-made man. We could not have done this without our fantastic team and all of you who bought tickets. Thank you all for making this evening a success," Arnold Schwarzenegger welcomed his 150 guests at the first Charity Dinner for Climate Action in Kitzbühel. At the auction, works of art, props from Schwarzenegger’s movies, jewellery and exclusive activities were auctioned off by famous auctioneer Simon de Pury. Particular highlights like a training session with Arnold himself, a signed leather jacket from the movie Terminator 2 and a self-portrait by Sylvester Stallone were especially sought-after auction items and bidders all wanted to be a part of the climate action. The 900.000 Euros will go to the "Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative", which organizes the international climate conference AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in Vienna every year and supports climate projects worldwide.
December 5, 2019
18.500€ for climate action projects
Many friends and supporters of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT followed yesterday our invitation to our first charity auction at the Habibi & Hawara in Vienna – among others Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen as well as ski legends Franz Klammer and Lizz Görgl. Radio presenter Tom Walek guided through the program.
The proud result of the auction: 18.500€! The proceeds will be used for climate action projects inter alia "Green Lung of Uganda" of the Jane Goodall Institutes – Austria. Thank you to all donators!
November 28, 2019
Monika Langthaler is “Woman of the Year”
Monika Langthaler was awarded as "Woman of the Year" by the Austrian magazine Look! for her 30 years of commitment to climate protection. The Director of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT was very pleased about this great honor and underlined in her acceptance speech: "There is a tomorrow and we have to be very careful about that!"
This year's “Women of the Year” gala, with the topic "Sparkling for Earth", was focused entirely on climate protection and presented what is so important: ecological action and solutions for the future. Therefore, Monika Langthaler emphasized: “With the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT we also want to give hope and show what we humans are able to do in this ecological crisis situation.” Laudator Arnold Schwarzenegger congratulated via video message: "Well deserved!"
November 5, 2019
A bike ride with Climate Action Heroes
It was a very special experience for Monika Langthaler, Director of AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT, to meet Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and climate activist Greta Thunberg in Los Angeles and go for a bike ride in Santa Monica with them.
Together they discussed further ideas and strategies for the joint fight against the climate crisis, considering the relocation of the COP from Santiago de Chile to Madrid, the devastating wild fires in L.A. and how to integrate forests and other nature based solutions as key issues of the next AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT.
October 22, 2019
European Culture Prize
We are thankful and proud, that the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT got honoured with one of the most important awards in Europe. On October 20th, Monika Langthaler Director of The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative, received on behalf of Arnold Schwarzenegger the European Culture Prize in the category “environmental protection” during a magnificent ceremony at the Vienna State Opera. This award strengthens our ambition and resolution to work on solutions and to connect as many people as possible for climate action.
“This evening has shown me once again, what people are capable of doing in a positive way” emphasized Langthaler in her speech. “The ecological crisis might appear overwhelming, yet we do already have the solutions in our hands. We must make use of our brain and heart to save the planet for our children and grandchildren. And this is exactly what we want to do.”
As Arnold Schwarzenegger, initiator of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT, couldn’t join the event himself, he sent a video message for the audience. “There are still too many people who didn’t take the climate crisis seriously enough, for example our politicians”, he declared. “Still, the worldwide climate protests give me hope, that we are on the right track. What we need is more persuasive power.”
October 16, 2019
Visiting the C40 Mayors Summit
Last week The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative visited the C40 Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. This Summit highlighted examples of how cities are already fulfilling their strong commitments and accelerating the bold climate solutions needed for a sustainable, healthier, resilient and inclusive future. 70 mayors of some of the world’s largest and most influential cities, representing more than 700 million citizens, came together at the four-day event in order to build a global coalition for climate action.
Needless to say, we wouldn’t miss the occasion to join this great event and be inspired by the numerous best practices-examples from all over the world. Beside meeting partners, we also took the chance to invite some of the inspiring speakers to our upcoming AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in May 2020.
The C40 Mayors Summit was a great and inspiring experience for us. Not only did we learn about different best practices-projects from all over the world and got valuable inputs for the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in May 2020. Beyond this, we experienced a magnificent host city showing us, how a sustainable city can look like. See more here
September 5, 2019
Presentation of the book Heißzeit 51
A "hot" track - and it leads to the topic of climate change! Yesterday (Sept. 4, 2019) the well-known Austrian crime writer Eva Rossmann presented her latest work together with The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative Director Monika Langthaler. In "Heißzeit 51" a climate activist is murdered and the hunt for the murderer is also an update on the topics of climate change and populism.
Monika Langthaler was pleased with the choice of the topic, because it is extremely important "that the issue of climate change finally comes out of the bubble of the environment movement". Eva Rossmann underlined: "The current huge interest in the climate crisis is hopefully not just a hype. Because the climate crisis doesn´t have to be a hype. After all, it's about our future!" It was difficult for her to reduce the information and facts to an acceptable level for a crime thriller. Because "Heißzeit 51” should indeed tell about the topic, but not teach the reader. By the way: The AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is also mentioned in the book!
August 8, 2019
Donation for "Jugend eine Welt"
Today The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative Director Monika Langthaler handed over a donation cheque of 5.000 Euro to Reinhard Heiserer, CEO Jugend eine Welt, for a very special project: “Solar Skills and Environmental Education”, which sets up solar workshops and pilot plants, and trains local teaching staff in photovoltaic technology. The project is in the second phase of implementation (2019-2022) and at present the solar skills training takes place in 6 technical schools (TVETs) in Ethiopia and 3 technical schools (VTCs) in Uganda as short courses and as part of a 3- or 2-year electrical engineering training. The aim is to capacitate young people to install and maintain decentral, solar electricity supply systems for homes, water pumps etc., and thereby contributing to a climate-resilient development in their country. See more here
June 27, 2019
Schwarzenegger is back - as Howard Kleiner
What a funny and crazy way Arnold Schwarzenegger promotes electromobility: not with a moralizing undertone, but with humor! In the short movie Kicking Gas, Schwarzenegger goes undercover as Howard Kleiner, a frustrated car salesman to help non-profit organization Veloz sharing the benefits of electric cars — by selling the opposite. Scenes captured by hidden cameras include the former governor donning fake mustache and wig and surprising would-be customers. “We chose humor — not fear or fury like some people — because negative emotions are burning people out,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Humor, on the other hand, lights people up. Besides, we figure the world could use a little laughter just about now.” See more here
May 21, 2019
Hubert von Goisern as special guest at the CLIMATE KIRTAG
We are very happy to announce that Hubert von Goisern will also be at our CLIMATE KIRTAG on the 28th of May as a special guest on stage alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Greta Thunberg, Aksel Lund Svindal, Conchita Wurst and Pizzera&Jaus. Everyone who is committed to a healthy and peaceful future for our planet is welcome. No matter how young, no matter how old - it's about setting an example for climate protection. The entry to the Heldenplatz is free. We are looking forward to seeing you there!
May 17, 2019
The View from outer space
“We have a beautiful planet. We should feel very fortunate, but some parts are visibly polluted from space. We are alone in the world as the only nation that denies climate change.” At this year's AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT, the US astronaut Scott Kelly will give us an insight on his unique perspective of our planet and the topic of climate protection. Scott Kelly is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. With 520 days in space, Scott Kelly is the most experienced NASA astronaut. We are proud to welcome him at our Summit!
May 3, 2019
Antonio Guterres comes to AWS in Vienna
It is a great honor for us that UN Secretary-General António Guterres will visit the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT for the second time. In the past year he has made it very clear that fighting against climate change is one of his top priorities.
António Guterres himself will be holding a UN climate summit in September where he has emphasized that he wants to see plans and not only hear speeches from the world’s leaders. “I am calling on all leaders to come to New York in September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% over the next decade, and to net zero by 2050,” the UN chief wrote in an article for the Guardian. He also stresses that without ambitious action, the Paris agreement is meaningless.
April 24, 2019
New Bipartisan Podcast on Energy and the Environment
The Schwarzenegger Institute has teamed up with “Political Climate,” a bipartisan podcast exploring energy and environmental issues in America. After gaining listenership from across party lines including industry leaders, congressmen, activists and news media, during their first season, the podcast is advancing their robust public dialogue on climate and energy through this cooperation. To kick off the new partnership and the new season, Julia Pyper, Brandon Hurlbut and Shane Skelton sat down with Governor Schwarzenegger for an interview. Listen in under the link.
Following the interview, Schwarzenegger praised the podcast, saying: “I had a fantastic time sitting down with Julia, Shane and Brandon to talk about energy policy from a post-partisan perspective. I am hopeful the Political Climate podcast can bring together people of all political stripes, because the only way we will terminate pollution and create a new economy is by working together.”
March 3, 2019
“Instead of looking for hope, look for action. We can´t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.”
Thousands of students from all over the world followed Greta Thunberg´s example and set their governments under pressure to strike for #ClimateAction. For her commitment she has currently been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. We are very proud to welcome Greta Thunberg in Vienna at the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT and also at the #ClimateKirtag.
March 7, 2019
Climate Kirtag 28|5
The first CLIMATE KIRTAG will take place in the frame of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT on May 28th, starting at 3 pm at Heldenplatz. Every individual interested in world music and climate protection is warmly invited to attend. Guests will include Arnold Schwarzenegger, climate activist Greta Thunberg, the musicians Conchita and Pizzera & Jaus and Aksel Lund Svindal, alongside many more who are committed to climate action. Entry is free!
March 1, 2019
Release of the AWS Annual Report 2018
The outcome and impacts left by the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT initiative last year were wide-ranging. The Annual Report 2018 showcases not only the results and publications of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT 2018 but also diverse activities with our network of partners throughout the year. Outlining thematic priorities, as well as cross-cutting priorities have been guiding us to the next steps and focal topics for 2019.
January 30, 2019
Bilateral Meeting at the Hofburg
Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Federal President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen join forces to promote more action to step up climate ambition. In December they were both at the COP24 in Katowice, now they stand side by side again for the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT on May 28. We are very pleased that Alexander Van der Bellen will take over the patronage of the #climateAWS for the third time. A special present from Arnold Schwarzenegger: the brand-new AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT skis. We are also support the Initiative of Alexander Van der Bellen „For more Climate Ambition“!
January 29, 2019
Arnold Schwarzenegger meets Chancellor Sebastian Kurz
After promoting climate protection together with Ski aces in Kitzbühel, Arnold Schwarzenegger presented Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz with the special AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT skis to thank him for his great support for the third AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in Vienna on May 28.
January 26, 2019
New skis for Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger, a big fan of Kitzbühel (Austria), jumped at the opportunity to visit the Hahnenkamm Races again this year together with Heather Milligan. He was particularly excited to further his commitment to environmental protection together with ski aces Matthias Mayer, Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud, as well as HEAD boss Johan Eliasch who presented him with a personalized set of skis branded with AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT.
The skis symbolize the need for action and solutions in all areas of life to counteract climate change. Arnold Schwarzenegger is concerned with increasing climate change awareness and, with the support of these excellent skiers and great role models, hopes to demonstrate the alternatives open to us all.
December 17, 2018
“Katowice Climate Package” agreed at COP24
The UN Climate Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, has achieved its determined goal: on December 15th, the delegates finally adopted unanimously a rulebook for the Paris Agreement. In addition, the almost 200 states agreed on ways to implement the Paris Agreement and thus limit global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era.
To ensure that the rules are actually followed, the principle of "naming and shaming" was introduced: Responsible states are publicly named and denounced for violations. Thus, states are not forced to protect the climate, but can hardly escape it. Transparency and comparability are important prerequisites: Starting in 2020, states have to report every two years on what measures they are taking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and they will have to disclose how their emissions are developing.
The AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT team was present at the COP 24 in Poland and used the meeting of international experts, institutions and political representatives for important discussions and networking – also at the Austrian Pavilion, where innovative solutions "Made in Austria" were prominently presented
September 17, 2018
A Call to Action from California
The Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco for business, city and state leaders closed with a call on national governments to increase their pledges to the Paris Agreement. Subnational actors asked nations to update their pledges to reach the 1,5 degree goal. The message from Governor James Brown and Michael Bloomberg was clear: Even without President Trump and his administration, the US is upholding the Paris Agreement.
Hundreds of commitments have been announced by states, regions, cities, businesses, but also by investors and NGO´s showing that it is possible and urgent to step up climate action together, for instance:
12 regions - including Catalonia, Lombardy, Scotland, and Washington State, representing over 80 million people and over 5 percent of global GDP will have 100 per cent zero emission public fleets by 2030.
21 companies announced the Step Up Declaration, a new alliance dedicated to harnessing the power of emerging technologies and the fourth industrial revolution to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all economic sectors and ensure a climate turning point by 2020. Including: Autodesk, Bloomberg, BT, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lyft, Nokia, Salesforce, Supermicro, Symantec, Tech Mahindra, Uber, Vigilent, VMware, WeWork, Workday, and Zoox.
42 financial institutions representing over $13 trillion in assets announced a commitment to helping cities, states, and regions finance climate action including European Investment Bank, Work Bank, IFC and APG Active.
September 14, 2018
Road to Katowice and beyond!
The AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is part of an ever-growing community. We have outlined the most important milestones of this global process in a timeline up to our next conference on 28 May 2019 - also to clearly emphasize that the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is not a one-day event.
What has been going on since the last conference?
We just finished the first phase of the postprocessing: We have summarized all immediate results from the sessions of the second AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in May, 2018.
What are the next steps?
For the submission to the Talanoa Dialogue our results will be synthesized and structured along the guiding questions. In a more comprehensive follow up report we will go more into detail which also brings us important inputs and questions for the next AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in May, 2019.
About the milestones
As representatives of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT we will visit the next important events as further milestones in the run-up to COP24 in Poland: The European Forum Alpbach, the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco and the Climate Week in New York amongst others.
May 17, 2018
Donation for "Hope For Batwa Children"
We are happy to support a very special project of naturalist and chimpanzee specialist Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institut – Austria: „Hope for Batwa Children“.
At the beginning of her work, the focus of Jane Goodall was on research into wild chimpanzees. Then she realized that the rescue of chimpanzees and the nature of Africa can only be successful if the projects are planned holistically and implemented together with the people of these regions. “Education is the key to a better future!”, Jane Goodall is convinced. Therefore, the Jane Goodall Institute - Austria initiated the project "Hope for Batwa Children". Currently, 12 children of the BATWA Pygmies, one of Africa's oldest hunting and gathering tribes are being cared for in an own house. They have - for the first time in their lives - a real roof over their heads, enough food and go to school.
AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT would like to make a contribution and pass on some of the success of the conference bysupporting this great project. The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative Director and organizer Monika Langthaler presented the donation to Jane Goodall at the Movie Night following the conference on May 15.
April 30, 2018
Antonio Guterres comes to Vienna
It is a special honor for us that António Guterres visits Vienna for the first time in his function as UN Secretary-General on the occasion of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT. Joining the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is a clear commitment for climate action.
António Guterres recently issued an urgent warning at a press conference in New York about the consequences of climate change. The headlines would be dominated by the escalation tensions and conflicts around the world, The UN Secretary-General said. “But the truth is that the most systemic threat to humankind remains climate change and I believe it is my duty to remind it to the whole of the international community.” Nevertheless, he was optimistic: “What the world needs is a race to the top – with political will, innovation, financing and partnerships. And I remain convinced we have what it takes to prevail.”
April 26, 2018
Our AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT Tram in Vienna!
Transportation is one of the largest and a growing sector for increasing energy demand and CO2-emissions: with a share of 29 percent, it contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions in Austria. In the EU is about 25 percent, globally the share of this sector is approx. 15 percent. In order to achieve our climate targets, urgent measures must be taken in the transport sector. A climate friendly infrastructure and a sustainable design our mobility system is therefore a particular priority.
The AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT wants to underline the important role of public transport in this context: For this reason, a specially branded tram is now on the way in Vienna. This not only draws attention to our conference, but also encourages climate-friendly transportation with its slogan: „Umwelt schützen – Bim benützen“ (Protect the environment – use the tram).
Vienna City Councillor Ulli Sima and Wiener Linien joined as partners for the branding of the tram. The AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT Bim will run until May 22nd.