Former California governor and Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger told delegates at the COP21 climate conference on 7 December to ignore the naysayers who say a global deal is out of reach. The motivational address came as ministers representing many of the 195 parties met in Paris, with the talks moving into their second phase before a 11 December deadline for an agreement.
Schwarzenegger said: "I know there are the cynics around here, when you walk around Paris, that say there will be no treaty, that there won't be a Kyoto 2, there will be nothing like that, nothing that will be enforceable or that will have any teeth. Or simply they say that it is impossible. Ladies and gentlemen, I have heard the word 'impossible' my entire life. I never, ever listen to the naysayers. I eliminated the word 'impossible' from my vocabulary. So when people say that it can't be done, I did it."
The actor-turned-politician has been holding a series of meetings on the sidelines of the talks which are intended to reach an international agreement to reduce emissions, halt global warming and avert environmental disaster. Schwarzenegger said that the change was not just up to national governments, with local actors also having a role to play.
"This is why I say that sub-national governments all over the world should flex their muscles because I can tell you, the bottom line is that all of you should take the word 'no' and 'it's impossible' and 'can't be done' out of your vocabulary. The fact is that the clean energy future is not only possible but if we all work together as national governments, sub-national governments and the international community, it is absolutely certain," he said.
He is set to address a United Nations forum on the importance of cities and regions in the battle against climate change on 8 December.