Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is assailing President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, saying that a grassroots movement committed to “a clean future” will rise up against Washington.
“One man cannot destroy our progress, one man can’t stop our clean energy revolution, one man can’t go back in time. Only I can do that,” he said, a reference to his role in the “Terminator” franchise.
Trump faced significant criticism from global and business leaders after he decided to pull the United States out of the Paris agreement on climate change. While some GOP lawmakers praised the decision, Schwarzenegger, a former Republican governor, challenged activists not to wait on Washington to address the issue.
“Like all the great movements in human history, our clean future starts with a grassroots movement in our communities, our cities and our states,” he said. “We can’t leave it to Washington to lead. We need to do it ourselves.”
Schwarzenegger argued in the video on ATTN, a Los Angeles-based media company, that prioritizing the environment is a public health issue while touting his commitment to green issues as a governor.
“Two-hundred-thousand people die every year in the US from air pollution and half of our rivers and streams are too polluted for our health,” he said. “We can’t just sit back and do nothing while people are getting sick and dying when we know there’s another way.”
Trump has pledged to renegotiate the agreement or develop another plan that will address environmental issues. Schwarzenegger, who briefly hosted the “Celebrity Apprentice” reality show after Trump entered politics, said the President’s positions on environmental issues could impact his presidential legacy.
“We remember the great leaders,” he said. “The great leaders that don’t walk backwards into the past but the great leaders that charge forward towards the future.”
Schwarzenegger and Trump, once friends, recently sparred over the former bodybuilder’s ratings as “Apprentice” host, leading Schwarzenegger to mock Trump by suggesting the two “switch jobs.”
Schwarzenegger announced in March he would not return to the show.