EU regions back Schwarzenegger initiative to save climate

Six European regions
have joined Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a global
initiative to reduce carbon dioxide (COclass=”Apple-style-span”>2) emissions called ‘R20’.

‘R20’ is the name of a new initiative that seeks to bring
together regional governments from across the world in order to
share knowledge and push ahead with actions to promote energy
efficiency, renewable energy and clean transport.

The initiative, launched in California this week (15-16
November), is being actively supported by regions across

“The signing of the Climate Action Charter by sub-national
groups sends a strong message to national governments and
international institutions,” said Michèle Sabban, president of the
Assembly of European Regions and vice-president of the
Ile-de-France Regional Council.

“The message is that regions must be recognised for the actions
they undertake in support of innovation and adaptation to climate
change whilst global policymakers should learn from our ability to
develop new forms of cooperation,” she said.

Other European regions represented at the R20 launch event
include Alba (Romania), Flevoland (The Netherlands), Azores
(Portugal), Istria (Croatia) and Donetsk (Ukraine).

Schwarzenegger in the driving seat

The R20 initiative is based on the model of the href=””>C40 - a group of large
committed to clean energy and energy-saving
measures, which was established in 2005 and is currently chaired by
Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City.

The R20 group was launched at the 3rd Governors’ Global
Climate Summit which took place in Davis, California, this week.
This was a final opportunity for the state’s governor, Arnold
Schwarzenegger, to make an impact on the world stage before his
term of office comes to an end on 3 January 2011.

Schwarzenegger is very much in the driving seat of the R20,
which aims to highlight the contribution that regional governments
can make to tackling climate change, promoting energy efficiency
and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“We can’t afford to wait for national and international
movement. Action is needed now, and action is what we’re taking
with R20,” the former movie star told delegates.

“The role of subnational governments is
more important than ever, and California has shown that state and
regional governments can institute policies that will grow the
green economy, create jobs and clean our environment.” Arnold

“With this unprecedented level of cooperation and collaboration,
R20 will continue this leadership around the world and will help
influence national and international action.”

Schwarzenegger, who grew up in Austria, was a world famous
body-builder and movie star before deciding to enter politics in
2003. He has regularly spoken about the need to address climate
change, and in 2006 he signed a law to limit greenhouse gas
emissions in California, which has more inhabitants (37 million)
than any other state in the USA.

Read an article by Arnold Schwarzenegger on California;s
achievements published this week in the href=””
target=”_blank”>Huffington Post.


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