Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke out on Thursday to describe the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people all over the world as a “tremendous opportunity” to “remake societies.”
While speaking at a virtual conference on climate change, Schwarzenegger encouraged governments not to “invest in the past,” saying “forward-looking decisions” are needed now as trillions are being spent on rebuilding economies all over the world.
“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,” Schwarzenegger said. “These funds are so massive they are capable of remaking societies. We have a tremendous opportunity here.”
He went on to say that we have a choice of “two paths.”
“We can either throw away money on the fossil fuels of the past. That is the road to more pollution,” he said. “Or we can invest in the technologies of the future, renewable energy, nature-based solutions, sustainable transport and green technologies. Only one of these paths is rational.”
This is far from the first time that Schwarzenegger has spoken out about climate change. Back in November, he posted photos of himself taking a bike ride with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who he gushed over in the caption.
“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,” he wrote. “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
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Schwarzenegger met Thunberg at a climate change conference last year, and he admitted that he was “starstruck” by her.
“Excited to kick off our @R20_AWS in Vienna,” he tweeted. “I have to admit I was starstruck when I met @gretathunberg. Tune in tomorrow.”
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) May 27, 2019