California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger talks to the media as he leaves a hotel in Copenhagen December 15, 2009 to attend a news conference at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP15, at the Bella Center. [Agencies]
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called on cities, states and other "sub-national" governments to become an important force of tackling climate change problems at a public speech on Tuesday.
He urged them not to wait for a binding deal before taking action to curb emissions. "International agreements, as critical as they are, will never do enough," he said, adding that he hoped to see an ambitious deal signed at the end of the Copenhagen climate change conference.
He also believed national governments cannot solve the problem of climate change without the help of local governments. "The world's governments alone cannot make the progress that is needed on global climate change," he said. "They need the cities, the states, the provinces, the regions. They need the corporations, the activists, the scientists, the universities… And many things have been done at the sub-national level."
Schwarzenegger also suggested the bottom-up ways to address the climate issue. "Movement began with people, when it gets strong enough, the government will listen to it," he said.
"I would like to ask the UN to convene a climate summit like the one in Copenhagen, but for states, provinces and regions, and I would be very happy to hold the summit in California," Schwarzenegger said.