July 29, 2022
AWS Report now online
It´s a wrap on the Austrian World Summit 2022 and a lot of things were happening on stage and around the conference. In this year´s report you can read all about the summit, it´s guests and the take aways from the panel discussions.
On June 14th, 2022, one of the biggest environmental summits in the world took place at the Hofburg in Vienna: The 6th AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT was all about “Creating Hope - Inspiring Action”, true to the nature of its founder Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The goal of the summit as well as the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative was to reach out to as many people as possible to create hope and inspire action. The focus was on the many already existing solutions: Active climate leaders, starting as young as 15-year-old high school students, presented their ideas and products to deliver a message of hope and cooperation. Further panels discussed the much-needed transformation of the industrial sector, the big transformative processes within our societies due to the climate crisis and digitalization and the environmental impact of today’s food production.
Besides the report you can also check out the highlight video of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT 2022. If you are interested in the speeches and panel sessions, please visit our YouTube channel: the whole conference is available online.
June 27, 2022
Schwarzenegger: Eliminate addiction to fossil fuels
Arnold Schwarzenegger hosted this year´s AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT live from his filmset in Toronto, but his messages were very real: “We must do whatever it takes to eliminate our addiction to fossil fuels,” he emphasized in his opening speech and condemned the war in Ukraine and the dependence on Russian oil and gas. “No matter how you look at it, we have blood on our hands, because we are financing the war. We have to stop lying to ourselves.”
The war in Ukraine and the climate crisis were generally the focus of this year’s climate conference and many of the other guests and speakers present agreed with the former Governor.
For Schwarzenegger, technological solutions play a decisive role in the fight against climate change: “Right now, we have all the technology we need to leave fossil fuels in the past. To create a future, where our economy booms and our children breathe clean air,” Schwarzenegger carried on in his speech. “Technology makes the impossible possible. My friends, technology can be our saviour. We can build a future where our economy booms and our children breathe clean air. A future without pollution.”
After his speech, Schwarzenegger was joined for a conversation by two top climate and environmental experts from Europe and the USA: Michael S. Regan, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission.
Michael S. Regan emphasised: “Under President Biden’s leadership, America is back and leading the way when it comes to tackling the climate crisis – and EPA is at the heart of delivering on that mission. From global leaders to youth activists, I am grateful for the productive conversations we had today about our work to protect people from pollution and accelerate the transition to a clean energy future.”
"The good news is that there is still hope," added Frans Timmermans. "We have our fate in our hands. New solutions are being found every day, more and more countries are committing to a net-zero emissions path," said the Vice-President of the European Commission.
June 24, 2022
AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT 2022: Creating Hope – Inspiring Action
On June 14th 2022, Arnold Schwarzenegger hosted his climate conference, the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT, at the Hofburg in Vienna. Numerous prominent guests from politics, business, science and civil society highlighted the importance of climate protection and immediate climate action.
In addition to Schwarzenegger and the Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, the two top climate and environmental leaders from Europe and the USA joined the international summit: European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who is responsible for implementing the European Green Deal and the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency Michael S. Regan. UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the world via video message.
In accordance with the theme "Creating Hope - Inspiring Action" numerous representatives from the business world, such as Klemens Hallmann (Hallmann Corporate Group), Jan Jenisch (Holcim) and Ilka Horstmeier (BMW Group), talked about concrete solutions to environmental pollution and the climate crisis. Topics such as the transformation of the economy, digitalisation, successful climate communication and a climate-friendly agriculture where at the heart of the discussion panels this year.
With speakers from 15 nations and participants from more than 50 countries, the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT was once again as international as ever. Above all, young and innovative people from all over the world were on stage. For example, Lorna Rutto, who fights against plastic waste in Kenya and creates hundreds of jobs, or 15-year-old Reshma Kosaraju, who predicts forest fires with the help of artificial intelligence. From India 16-year-old Vinisha Umashankar joined. She became famous for developing a solar-powered ironing cart to reduce coal consumption in India.
March 23, 2022
E-fuels: Do they keep what they promise?
The idea is simple: Synthetic fuels would be produced using electricity. These so called e-fuels could operate in existing combustion engines without major problems. They could be distributed via the existing gas station network. Clean fuel without climate-damaging emissions that all modern cars today can use - wouldn't that be an ideal solution?
Unfortunately not. First of all the efficiency of synthetic gasoline is shockingly low. In an electric car 73 percent of the energy provided is used to drive, the figure for e-fuels is only 13 percent. This means that e-fuels are by far the least efficient of the drive technologies currently available. It takes five times as much energy to cover the same distance with e-fuels as with an e-car. So for a car powered by E-fuels you need 115kWh for 100km and for an E-car only 18kWh.
Experts doubt that e-fuel generation can be scaled up to the levels needed to fuel the European or even the global vehicle fleet. They however do see a role for e-fuels in sectors where no alternatives exist, such as aviation or shipping.
Studies show that direct use of electricity through direct charging of electric vehicles is the most efficient way. Green energy to run those cars is naturally crucial. Of course, even electric cars are only one part of the solution: if possible, using cars less, car sharing or choosing public transport can be good alternatives to reduce emissions and advance our transport and mobility system towards a more sustainable or climate-friendly future.
January 12, 2022
Support for new climate project in India
The people of Tamil Nadu in the south of India are feeling the harsh effects of climate change. Increased droughts and floods and the rise in agricultural pests are having a serious impact on the food supply.
The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative will therefore support a new project with a very holistic and broad approach: This ‘Jugend eine Welt’ project contributes to sustainable climate and environmental protection in 17 districts of Tamil Nadu. By the end of 2023, 16,000 people - in 800 eco clubs in schools and villages - will implement environmental protection measures in their surroundings: Around 14,000 new trees will be planted, recycling campaigns for waste separation in the eco-clubs, waste collection campaigns and an awareness-raising campaign on solar energy with accompanying information events will be carried out. Model vegetable gardens will be planted in villages and the local population will be taught basic skills for growing their own vegetables for self-sufficiency in practical training sessions. In addition, 100 disadvantaged young people are trained in solar energy and thus have an additional source of income. In the course of the training, mini-solar systems are installed in 200 households. In the future, these households will be able to get their electricity from climate-friendly solar energy. Another 250 households will receive support in applying for government funding to expand renewable energy in rural areas. Initial activities for sustainable environmental and climate protection have already taken place in the course of a pilot project of local partners, the Salesians Don Boscos in Tamil Nadu, which has already been completed. Based on the results and experiences of this project, the activities are now being expanded.
December 1, 2021
Reducing food waste
A lot of us know this situation: You are walking through the grocery store, in the worst case you´re hungry, there are advertisements everywhere and special offers like large family packs or “3 for the price of 2”. When you leave the shop you ended up buying loads of food you didn´t really need and it will end up in the rubbish.
What a lot of us don´t know: This is not only a waste of money, but also a waste of all the energy and resources that went into producing, processing, packaging, and transporting this food. And therefore has a grave impact on our climate.
Approximately a third of the world’s food is never eaten. In total, 6 to 8 % of globally emitted greenhouse gases are coming from food waste – a disturbingly high number of unnecessary emissions. Something that can easily be changed with our everyday behaviour.
So we have collected some simple hacks for you to avoid food waste:
Make a shopping list for your grocery shopping. It reduces the tendency to buy things that you do not actually need and might end up in the waste bin. Generally, planning your meals ahead helps to avoid over-buying.
Trust and use your senses to check if food products are still edible. If stored accordingly, a lot of food is safe to consume longer than expected.
Fruit and veg might become “ugly” after some time in the basket – however these can easily still be used, e.g., for smoothies or baking.
Be creative or get inspired on the internet: There are plenty of recipes for leftovers that help to reduce not only household food waste but also save money.
Of course the whole food production system needs transitioning towards a more sustainable way of producing our veg, fruit and meat. We can also positively contribute personally to making a change by avoiding food waste in our own homes.
September 28, 2021
Continued support for “Bosco Children”
„Bosco Children“ runs a center in Addis Abeba and gives street children shelter and guidance. There are an estimated 17,000 children that live unaccompanied in the Ethiopian capital. With the help of the ‘Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative’ and ‘Jugend Eine Welt’ the organization was able to carry out a project that contributes to a “green recovery” from the current health crisis.
Some of this year´s activities:
Solar powered flood lights were installed in the centre as part of the solar training. These now give light to the compound and adjacent streets. In the course of the installation, the youth at Bosco children enhanced their skills in renewable energies.
Enlargement of the green areas in the compound by greening the football pitch.
Establishment of a small plantation of cash-crop trees such as fruit trees and the local medicinal Moringa trees. More than 50 trees were planted, among which are moringa, mango, avocado and coffee trees. The plantation of the trees is all around the compound and further decorates the organizations’ area. The big garden is always green and full of different vegetables, fruits and herbs. The children and youth at the congregation are learning how to plant, maintain and properly use the plants.
Visits to rural areas for the reintegration of former street children and awareness raising measures for solar energy and a greener environment.
The former street children and youth gained knowledge and experience in different fields such as gardening and renewable energy. Furthermore, during their visits and reintegration to their families they took their knowledge to their rural homes.
September 6, 2021
Work for us
You are committed to fighting pollution and climate change? Then join our team! The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative is searching for motivated new employees. To support our work for a cleaner future we are looking for a Programme Manager, who will contribute to the strategic direction and contextual focus of the initiative as well as an Event and Communication Officer, who will support us in organizing events and communicating with our community. We are a small team with flat hierarchies and offer varied, challenging and meaningful tasks in an international working environment. To find out more, check out the detailed job descriptions. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
August 9, 2021
Der grüne Terminator
Arnold Schwarzenegger war Mr. Universum, Schauspieler und Gouverneur von Kalifornien. Seine neue Rolle: Klimaaktivist mit Esel und Elektro-SUV. Ein Hausbesuch in Los Angeles.
SPIEGEL: Als Sie vor 53 Jahren Österreich verließen, um eine Karriere in Amerika zu beginnen, wollten Sie von Ihrem Heimatland überhaupt nichts mehr wissen. Kommen Sie jetzt, da Sie älter geworden sind, Ihrem Heimatland näher?
Schwarzenegger: Damals hatte ich das Gefühl, dass ich jetzt alles hinter mir lassen muss. Ich habe mir gesagt: Diese Vergangenheit hat nicht existiert. Amerika ist die Zukunft. Und so bin ich eingetaucht in die englische Sprache und habe nicht mehr Deutsch gesprochen. Wenn ich über Österreich redete, habe ich das in einer abschätzigen Weise getan, ich hasste alles an Österreich. Aber jetzt kehrt die Vergangenheit wieder in mein Bewusstsein zurück.
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger ist aufgewachsen in Thal, einer Gemeinde in der Steiermark mit damals 1200 Einwohnern, einem Dorf, das ohne Straßennamen auskam und seine Häuser von 1 bis 250 durchnummeriert hatte. Nummer 1 war das Pfarramt, Nummer 2 das Gemeindehaus, in dem auch die Gendarmerie untergebracht war und wo sein Vater arbeitete, Nummer 145 war die Adresse der Familie. Die Schwarzeneggers lebten in der ersten Etage, auf drei Zimmer verteilt. Sein Vater war Gendarmerie-Postenkommandant in Thal, Chef von drei Dorfpolizisten. Als kleiner Junge schaute Arnold zu ihm auf, setzte sich die Polizeimütze auf und betrachtete sich im Spiegel. Niemand kam ihm so übermächtig vor wie sein Vater. Aber die 930 Schilling, die sein Vater monatlich verdiente, passten nicht zu dem Anspruch, den er ans Leben hatte. Ein Auto war viel zu teuer, auch einen Kühlschrank konnten sich die Schwarzeneggers nicht leisten, Wasser holten sie aus dem Brunnen vor ihrem Haus.
Schwarzenegger: Ich bin aufgewachsen mit einer Toilette ohne Spülung, an Duschen war gar nicht zu denken. Das hat mich natürlich geprägt. Wenn mein Sohn Patrick eine Viertelstunde unter der heißen Dusche stand, hab ich ihm erklärt: Es ist jetzt vorbei.
Ralf Moeller nähert sich von hinten aus der Küche, er hat einen weißen Proteindrink mitgebracht, einen guten halben Liter, den er Schwarzenegger anbietet.
SPIEGEL: Verdirbt zu viel Konsum die Menschen?
Schwarzenegger: Ich wollte nie, dass meine Kinder verwöhnt aufwachsen.
SPIEGEL: Wie haben Sie das verhindert?
Schwarzenegger: Ich habe die Tennisschuhe meiner Tochter verbrannt.
SPIEGEL: Das meinen Sie jetzt nicht im Ernst.
Schwarzenegger: Natürlich. Sie haben hier einfach herumgelegen, und ich habe gefragt, wem die Tennisschuhe gehören. Meine Tochter hat gerufen: Wirf sie bitte nicht in den Kamin, das sind meine Lieblingstennisschuhe. Aber es war schon das dritte Mal, dass sie herumlagen, und da habe ich ihr gesagt, dass ich sie in den Kamin werfe. Sehen Sie da hinten den Kamin? Sie sind dort in Flammen aufgegangen. Katherine hat geweint, sie hat ein Riesentheater gemacht, ist zu ihrer Mutter gerannt, aber das hat dann gewirkt.
SPIEGEL: Woher wissen Sie das?
Schwarzenegger: Meine Tochter hat mich neulich angerufen, es war wegen ihres Stiefsohns: Daddy, du wirst nicht glauben, was ich gemacht habe. Ich habe seine verdammten Tennisschuhe genommen, die er zum fünften Mal hat rumliegen lassen, und habe ihm gesagt: Pass auf, wenn du deine Tennisschuhe noch einmal herumliegen lässt, werfe ich sie in den Kamin. Kannst du das glauben, Daddy, dass ich das meinem Sohn gesagt habe?
Schwarzenegger lässt sich von Fragen nicht hetzen, im Gegenteil. Bevor er antwortet, wartet er immer ein bisschen und schaut einen mit seinen raubtierhaft kleinen Augen an, scheinbar reglos, sodass man im ersten Moment nicht erahnen kann, ob man von ihm eine Antwort bekommt oder ein Überfall droht. Seine Erzählungen sind lustig und unterhaltsam, sie klingen immer ein wenig dick aufgetragen, nach einer Storyline, wobei er niemals den Eindruck erweckt, als zweifle er einen Moment daran, dass es sich alles genau so zugetragen hat. Aber vielleicht ist das auch gar nicht so wichtig.
Schwarzenegger zeigt hinter sich, auf sein Haus.
Schwarzenegger: Sehen Sie den Balkon? Das ist der Balkon von Patricks ehemaligem Kinderzimmer. Ich habe da mal seine Matratze heruntergeworfen, sein Kissen, das ganze Bettzeug, weil er sein Bett nicht gemacht hatte.
SPIEGEL: Und das hat gewirkt?
Schwarzenegger: Es hat gewirkt.
Er lebt hier im Überfluss, mehr als 1500 Quadratmeter Grundstück, wie es heißt, acht Schlafzimmer, zehn Bäder, ein Tennisplatz, ein Swimmingpool, Gartenpavillon und Pferdestall. Er hat mehrere Harleys und einen Hummer in der Garage, einen Whirlpool im Garten. Aber der Hummer ist umgerüstet, der Whirlpool bezieht seinen Strom aus den Solarzellen, die er auf einem Hügel über der Villa hat anbringen lassen, und immer öfter, sagt er, tausche er die Harley gegen sein Fahrrad, ein elektrogetriebenes Fatbike.
Hier also sollen sich die Widersprüche auflösen, hier soll zusammengehören, was eigentlich nicht zusammenpasst. Hier kann er rauchen und trotzdem gesund leben, vegan essen und trotzdem Spaß haben, ein dickes Auto in der Garage stehen haben und trotzdem umweltbewusst sein. Hier will er zeigen, dass Konsum auch reuelos geht. Dass man auf nichts verzichten muss, um die Welt zu ändern.
Das gesamte Interview gibt es hier zu lesen.
August 2, 2021
The 5th Austrian World Summit on July 1st 2021 was a full success. Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to Vienna this year to attend his annual climate conference. Over the years it has grown to become one of the biggest environmental summits in the world and was all about the topic “Healthy Planet - Healthy People”. Humans depend on healthy ecosystems- if the planet is sick, then the people get sick. Once more the summit brought together climate action heroes from around the world to pave the way towards COP26, to discuss America’s re-entry into the Paris Agreement and to continue Arnold Schwarzenegger´s crusade to terminate pollution and create climate action. The conference showed that there is hope. To motivate the international audience, the whole day was about solutions, inspiring people, and successful projects that fight climate change and pollution at the same time. The goal was to reach out to as many people as possible to raise awareness and to speed up the global climate movement. This was surely reached with around 1300 media reports worldwide and a potential reach of over 2 billion people. You can read all about the details, guests and further topics of the conference here or re-watch the Livestream on Facebook
April 13, 2021
Fast Fashion vs. Fair Fashion
The facts and figures are frightening. The fashion industry is - and very few people know this - the second largest polluter in the world. It is one of those industries in which consumption has grown rapidly in recent decades. About 60 percent more clothing was purchased in 2018 than in 2000! The life of a garment is short: 60 percent of all clothing is thrown away again within a year of its manufacture. In total, this amounts to almost 6 million tons of clothing per year in Europe alone. Next to a massive pile of garbage, fashion production makes up 10% of global carbon emissions and pollutes rivers and oceans with microplastics amongst other toxic chemicals. Moreover, it dries up water sources. The production of one cotton T-shirt consumes approximately 2,500 liters of water. That is roughly equivalent to 20 full bathtubs. This has consequences not only for our planet but also for our health especially for those who work in the textile factories.
These problems require massive changes. It is therefore important to raise awareness for the alternatives. Monika Langthaler, Director of the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative will shine a light on the issue of fair fashion and the power of consumers at the next AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT, which will take place in Vienna on July 1st. "We can all make a difference with our daily choices. There are already many options and we as consumers can help shape the world by making the right choices."
Just a few examples: Buying sustainable, high-quality products, that will last for years instead of buying a new cheap shirt every few weeks is not only better for the environment, but also saves money in the long term. To identify these sustainable products, there are labels which help customers, such as GOTS or fairtrade. Fair fashion is becoming a trend and many upcoming fashion labels and brands are experimenting with new innovative materials and approaches. Another important factor is to look for other alternatives than always buying “new” clothes like secondhand shops or platforms for swapping and lending clothes and accessories. For good examples you can check out our latest fashion climate action stories at
February 4, 2021
Joe Biden’s Climate Action Team
The new US president Joe Biden moved fast on climate change policies as soon as he took office: first he initiated the United States' re-entry into the Paris Climate Agreement, then he signed a climate-related executive order suspending new oil and gas leases on public lands, directed federal agencies to purchase electric cars by the thousands and is seeking to end fossil-fuel subsidies. He announced that climate change will be at the centre of his national security and foreign policy. President Biden clearly showed that he does not want to lose any more time and is also prepared to spend a lot of money on fighting the climate crisis. His team for this enormous task is top of the class. But see for yourself:
John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate: This position was created specifically for the former Secretary of State and places John Kerry at the heart of the Biden Administration's environmental, national security and diplomatic efforts. Kerry has a seat on the National Security Council and will have wide latitude to shape and promote President Biden’s climate response.
Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior: Haaland was a member of the House of Representatives on the Committee on Natural Resources. Her position is central to implementing the new goal of protecting 30% of America's land and oceans by 2030.
Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy: The introduction and development of renewable energy and storage technologies will be at the heart of Granholm's energy ministry. She describes herself as a "clean energy advocate".
Gina McCarthy, national climate advisor: President Biden created the new White House Office of Climate Policy and placed President Obama’s former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy at the helm of the new office. McCarthy is known for her straight talk and considerable experience as an environmental regulator. McCarthy will work quickly to reinstate many of the Obama-era climate policies and executive orders that the Trump Administration dismantled.
Michael Regan, EPA Administrator: Michael Regan was a surprise pick for the job but was elevated to the position because of his success leading the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and his strong track record championing environmental justice issues. He will be heavily focused on bring equity and fairness to the to the EPA's regulatory efforts.
Liane Randolph, Chair, California Air Resource Board: Randolph is not a member of the White House’s climate team but holds one of the United State’s leading environmental regulatory positions. The California Air Resources board is considered by most people to be the second most important environmental regulator in America and often pushes the federal government to be more ambitious in setting environmental quality standards. Randolph, new to the role, is expected to prioritize environmental justice and equity. Brenda Mallory, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality-CEQ. Mallory, an environmental lawyer, will play an important role in implementing environmental and climate law. Under the Biden administration, the CEQ could act as a brake on environmentally damaging projects, such as pipeline construction.
February 1, 2021
Bosco Children Center in Ethiopia
An aid project in Ethiopia by "Jugend Eine Welt" is making a sustainable impact: At the Bosco Children Center near the capital Addis Ababa, former street children are given a new perspective. They are not only given emotional support and social care, but - depending on their age – receive regular school lessons or vocational training. The Bosco Children Center relies primarily on sustainable, future-oriented areas and technologies. There are courses and training courses on local vegetable and food production as well as on renewable and decentralized energy supply. The number of street children in Ethiopia has increased significantly over the past twenty years. An estimated 17,000 children live unaccompanied in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The Bosco Children Center not only cares for the future of these children and adolescents, but also lays an important foundation for the future of Ethiopia and thus contributes to a "green recovery" from the difficult situation in this African country, which has worsened by the corona crisis. The actions create an efficient system of rehabilitation and social reintegration. The project has particularly impressed the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative, which is why we will continue supporting it.
January 7, 2021
Arnold Schwarzenegger on why Republicans must stop Trump
It is time to end the president’s “stupid, crazy and evil” ploy to cling to power, says the former governor of California
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA was my first love. I fell for this country long before I was lucky enough to live here. From the moment I was exposed to my first images of skyscrapers, huge bridges, Cadillacs, beaches and Hollywood in grade school, I felt that I belonged here.
And as I learned more about the founding of America, about the vision of the founding fathers, about this land of opportunity, I fell deeper and deeper under its spell. By the time I was lucky enough to move here more than 50 years ago, I was obsessed.
Today, I’m deeply concerned for my country. As an immigrant, as an American and as a Republican, it is my duty to speak up.
I grew up in the ruins of a country that gave up on democracy and faced the consequences. You may think I’m being overly sensitive about this—but when you’ve lived through the aftermath as I did, trust me, you worry.
When I was born in 1947, two years after the second world war ended, Austria was in the middle of a famine. Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men drinking away their guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history. They were part of a system that murdered 6m Jews along with at least 5m other innocent people, tortured and experimented on human beings and started a war that caused 75m deaths. Not all of them were rabid anti-Semites or Nazis. Many just went along step by step down the road toward greater and greater evil because it was the easiest path.
I don’t believe America is capable of those depths of evil, but I do believe we should remember the dire consequences that choosing selfishness and cynicism over service and hope can have. I want to be sure that we don’t take those fateful steps. President Donald Trump’s actions to destroy faith in our elections and throw centuries of American principles out the window must be met with universal condemnation from all political leaders, regardless of party.
Claims of mass voter fraud have been rejected by court after court (59 cases were thrown out of courts including the Supreme Court), by the Department of Justice and by state election officials from both parties. There is no question about who won the presidential election and continuing this charade is stupid, crazy and evil.
President Trump’s request in a leaked phone recording to Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to “find 11,780 votes” is a low point in American history. If I hadn’t already given Mr Raffensperger a Democracy Action Hero award last month—which my institute at the University of Southern California hands out to recognise officials who protect American values—I’d be scrambling to honour him now. He is a true hero for standing up to this un-American bullshit.
On January 6th, when electoral-college votes are counted, leaders in Washington, DC will be faced with a choice. I once did a Terminator film called “Judgment Day”. That’s just Hollywood. But January 6th is Judgment Day for a lot of politicians. Will they choose to side with the voters, or will they choose to side with their party and their selfish president?
For those in my party considering standing up against the voters on January 6th, know this: our grandchildren will know your names only as the villains who fought against the great American experiment and the will of the voters. You will live in infamy.
John F. Kennedy wrote one of my favourite books that helped lead me in my own public service, “Profiles in Courage”. If our politicians go down this road and ignore the voters, we will need a sequel to that book called “Profiles in Cowardice”, about the leaders who chose party over country, conspiracy over democracy, and one man over 81m voters.
When George Washington left office, he wrote a farewell address that echoes through history to us today. As our only independent president, he specifically warned about the danger of political parties. Today, he sounds like someone who travelled through time (though I thought that was my thing): “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”
It is time for the members of my party to step back from the partisan battlefield and accept the results of the election. We must never put our party above the great American experiment. We must never forget that we are Americans first. We must never forget that any power our politicians have comes from the voters, and they have spoken.
God bless this country and every American brave enough to stand up for it. God help those of you willing to throw it all away.
December 10, 2020
Mutuba Project: Reforestation in Uganda
The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative has started a very special project in cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute - Austria: Together we will support the reforestation of Mutuba trees in Uganda for three years. The fact that this project is not only about planting trees, but that the focus is equally on people, animals and the environment, makes it so extraordinary and sustainable. Only with this holistic approach we can effectively counter the devastating effects of deforestation in Africa and tackle problems such as climate change, species extinction, polluted groundwater and the loss of economic livelihoods.
By reforesting tropical forests, habitat of chimpanzees living in Uganda will be restored, thus securing part of their population. Furthermore, the fruits of this fig tree are one of the most important food sources for the apps. The Mutuba tree also helps to create sustainable jobs, as the bark can be regularly harvested and processed into bark cloth. Thus Mutuba offers local people a secure source of income for over 40 years without harming the tree. The Jane Goodall Institute has been involved in Uganda for many years; the good networking of the staff as well as the understanding for the needs of the local people and for the regional characteristics of the animal and plant world are indispensable prerequisites for the successful implementation of this project. We are looking forward to this cooperation!
September 17, 2020
AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT 2020
On September 17, 2020 the fourth AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT took place despite the challenges posed by Covid-19. With a mixture of analog and digital elements, the summit set new standards and new viewer records. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the entire 3 hours conference as the host from Los Angeles. 250 guests - surrounded by 300 trees and bushes- and 27 speakers from 12 countries joined the summit at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Over 620.000 people watched the Livestream and the media coverage reached nearly 1,3 billion people all around the globe. Messages from prominent climate change activists all around the globe were presented - including Prince Charles, behavioral scientist Jane Goodall, UN Secretary General António Guterres, John Kerry (former US Secretary of State), Frans Timmermans (VicePresident of the European Commission), Pedro Sánchez (Prime Minister of Spain), Carlos Alvarado Quesada (President of Costa Rica), Imran Khan (Prime Minister of Pakistan) and director James Cameron.
July 28, 2020
New report focusing on forests
Our 2020 Special Report – the third in this series already – features a broad variety of international showcase projects and sustainable business models that contribute to intact forests in very different ways. The showcases range from conservation and reforestation initiatives, to forestry and construction projects, to the fashion and tourism sectors, to capacity building and financing etc. In the context of our Post Paris Navigator initiative, supported by the Austrian Development Agency, we carefully selected projects which benefit both climate and people in developing and emerging countries. Each of the presented examples discusses local impacts and benefits as well as important enabling factors. To complement this, fact boxes and additional information on forest-related topics are provided throughout the report, as well as general success factors and policy recommendations derived from the projects.
May 25, 2020
Climate crisis and Covid-19: addressing both crises at once
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is disruptive for the global economy and devastating for many people and their livelihoods, but we cannot take our attention away from the climate crisis. Rather we must recognize and analyze the parallels and connections of these two global crises. A green recovery must be the answers of these two crises.
This has been supported by institutional investors, global financial institutions, and officials in finance ministries and central banks. The challenge now is to create millions of jobs in the short term, enable innovation and economic diversification, and cut both carbon and air pollution and improving public health. Tackling the climate crisis and the health crisis at once!
Monika Langthaler about useful lessons from the pandemic for fighting the climate crisis (only German)
Europe is preparing the world’s greenest recovery package: The Green Deal
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March 23, 2020
AWS and CLIMATE KIRTAG postponed
Due to the current situation concerning the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT and the CLIMATE KIRTAG are postponed to September 17, 2020. Everyone's health comes first and has the highest priority.
The motto remains "Be the Solution". With this in mind, an exciting, somewhat shortened conference program with practical solutions and great live acts on the Open-Air-Festival stage awaits our guests in September in Vienna (exact location yet to be fixed). In terms of content, there will be a new focus in addition to the topics already planned: How can we continue to be ambitious in international climate policy despite or even because of challenges like the corona virus? What do we learn from current crisis management strategies? How can we prevent millions of deaths caused by climate change and environmental pollution worldwide by taking swift action?
January 23, 2020
Charity Auction: 900.000€ for climate protection
"Don´t listen to the naysayers! People said to me last year that another event in Kitzbühel won´t work – that there are already too many parties and we didn’t need another fundraiser. And today, we are completely sold out and we are raising a fortune for a great cause. But I always say there is no such thing as a self-made man. We could not have done this without our fantastic team and all of you who bought tickets. Thank you all for making this evening a success," Arnold Schwarzenegger welcomed his 150 guests at the first Charity Dinner for Climate Action in Kitzbühel. At the auction, works of art, props from Schwarzenegger’s movies, jewellery and exclusive activities were auctioned off by famous auctioneer Simon de Pury. Particular highlights like a training session with Arnold himself, a signed leather jacket from the movie Terminator 2 and a self-portrait by Sylvester Stallone were especially sought-after auction items and bidders all wanted to be a part of the climate action. The 900.000 Euros will go to the "Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative", which organizes the international climate conference AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in Vienna every year and supports climate projects worldwide.
December 5, 2019
18.500€ for climate action projects
Many friends and supporters of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT followed yesterday our invitation to our first charity auction at the Habibi & Hawara in Vienna – among others Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen as well as ski legends Franz Klammer and Lizz Görgl. Radio presenter Tom Walek guided through the program.
The proud result of the auction: 18.500€! The proceeds will be used for climate action projects inter alia "Green Lung of Uganda" of the Jane Goodall Institutes – Austria. Thank you to all donators!
November 28, 2019
Monika Langthaler is “Woman of the Year”
Monika Langthaler was awarded as "Woman of the Year" by the Austrian magazine Look! for her 30 years of commitment to climate protection. The Director of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT was very pleased about this great honor and underlined in her acceptance speech: "There is a tomorrow and we have to be very careful about that!"
This year's “Women of the Year” gala, with the topic "Sparkling for Earth", was focused entirely on climate protection and presented what is so important: ecological action and solutions for the future. Therefore, Monika Langthaler emphasized: “With the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT we also want to give hope and show what we humans are able to do in this ecological crisis situation.” Laudator Arnold Schwarzenegger congratulated via video message: "Well deserved!"
November 5, 2019
A bike ride with Climate Action Heroes
It was a very special experience for Monika Langthaler, Director of AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT, to meet Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and climate activist Greta Thunberg in Los Angeles and go for a bike ride in Santa Monica with them.
Together they discussed further ideas and strategies for the joint fight against the climate crisis, considering the relocation of the COP from Santiago de Chile to Madrid, the devastating wild fires in L.A. and how to integrate forests and other nature based solutions as key issues of the next AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT.
October 22, 2019
European Culture Prize
We are thankful and proud, that the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT got honoured with one of the most important awards in Europe. On October 20th, Monika Langthaler Director of The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative, received on behalf of Arnold Schwarzenegger the European Culture Prize in the category “environmental protection” during a magnificent ceremony at the Vienna State Opera. This award strengthens our ambition and resolution to work on solutions and to connect as many people as possible for climate action.
“This evening has shown me once again, what people are capable of doing in a positive way” emphasized Langthaler in her speech. “The ecological crisis might appear overwhelming, yet we do already have the solutions in our hands. We must make use of our brain and heart to save the planet for our children and grandchildren. And this is exactly what we want to do.”
As Arnold Schwarzenegger, initiator of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT, couldn’t join the event himself, he sent a video message for the audience. “There are still too many people who didn’t take the climate crisis seriously enough, for example our politicians”, he declared. “Still, the worldwide climate protests give me hope, that we are on the right track. What we need is more persuasive power.”
October 16, 2019
Visiting the C40 Mayors Summit
Last week The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative visited the C40 Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. This Summit highlighted examples of how cities are already fulfilling their strong commitments and accelerating the bold climate solutions needed for a sustainable, healthier, resilient and inclusive future. 70 mayors of some of the world’s largest and most influential cities, representing more than 700 million citizens, came together at the four-day event in order to build a global coalition for climate action.
Needless to say, we wouldn’t miss the occasion to join this great event and be inspired by the numerous best practices-examples from all over the world. Beside meeting partners, we also took the chance to invite some of the inspiring speakers to our upcoming AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in May 2020.
The C40 Mayors Summit was a great and inspiring experience for us. Not only did we learn about different best practices-projects from all over the world and got valuable inputs for the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in May 2020. Beyond this, we experienced a magnificent host city showing us, how a sustainable city can look like. See more here
September 5, 2019
Presentation of the book Heißzeit 51
A "hot" track - and it leads to the topic of climate change! Yesterday (Sept. 4, 2019) the well-known Austrian crime writer Eva Rossmann presented her latest work together with The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative Director Monika Langthaler. In "Heißzeit 51" a climate activist is murdered and the hunt for the murderer is also an update on the topics of climate change and populism.
Monika Langthaler was pleased with the choice of the topic, because it is extremely important "that the issue of climate change finally comes out of the bubble of the environment movement". Eva Rossmann underlined: "The current huge interest in the climate crisis is hopefully not just a hype. Because the climate crisis doesn´t have to be a hype. After all, it's about our future!" It was difficult for her to reduce the information and facts to an acceptable level for a crime thriller. Because "Heißzeit 51” should indeed tell about the topic, but not teach the reader. By the way: The AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is also mentioned in the book!
August 8, 2019
Donation for "Jugend eine Welt"
Today The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative Director Monika Langthaler handed over a donation cheque of 5.000 Euro to Reinhard Heiserer, CEO Jugend eine Welt, for a very special project: “Solar Skills and Environmental Education”, which sets up solar workshops and pilot plants, and trains local teaching staff in photovoltaic technology. The project is in the second phase of implementation (2019-2022) and at present the solar skills training takes place in 6 technical schools (TVETs) in Ethiopia and 3 technical schools (VTCs) in Uganda as short courses and as part of a 3- or 2-year electrical engineering training. The aim is to capacitate young people to install and maintain decentral, solar electricity supply systems for homes, water pumps etc., and thereby contributing to a climate-resilient development in their country. See more here
June 27, 2019
Schwarzenegger is back - as Howard Kleiner
What a funny and crazy way Arnold Schwarzenegger promotes electromobility: not with a moralizing undertone, but with humor! In the short movie Kicking Gas, Schwarzenegger goes undercover as Howard Kleiner, a frustrated car salesman to help non-profit organization Veloz sharing the benefits of electric cars — by selling the opposite. Scenes captured by hidden cameras include the former governor donning fake mustache and wig and surprising would-be customers. “We chose humor — not fear or fury like some people — because negative emotions are burning people out,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Humor, on the other hand, lights people up. Besides, we figure the world could use a little laughter just about now.” See more here
May 21, 2019
Hubert von Goisern as special guest at the CLIMATE KIRTAG
We are very happy to announce that Hubert von Goisern will also be at our CLIMATE KIRTAG on the 28th of May as a special guest on stage alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Greta Thunberg, Aksel Lund Svindal, Conchita Wurst and Pizzera&Jaus. Everyone who is committed to a healthy and peaceful future for our planet is welcome. No matter how young, no matter how old - it's about setting an example for climate protection. The entry to the Heldenplatz is free. We are looking forward to seeing you there!
May 17, 2019
The View from outer space
“We have a beautiful planet. We should feel very fortunate, but some parts are visibly polluted from space. We are alone in the world as the only nation that denies climate change.” At this year's AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT, the US astronaut Scott Kelly will give us an insight on his unique perspective of our planet and the topic of climate protection. Scott Kelly is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. With 520 days in space, Scott Kelly is the most experienced NASA astronaut. We are proud to welcome him at our Summit!
May 3, 2019
Antonio Guterres comes to AWS in Vienna
It is a great honor for us that UN Secretary-General António Guterres will visit the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT for the second time. In the past year he has made it very clear that fighting against climate change is one of his top priorities.
António Guterres himself will be holding a UN climate summit in September where he has emphasized that he wants to see plans and not only hear speeches from the world’s leaders. “I am calling on all leaders to come to New York in September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% over the next decade, and to net zero by 2050,” the UN chief wrote in an article for the Guardian. He also stresses that without ambitious action, the Paris agreement is meaningless.
April 24, 2019
New Bipartisan Podcast on Energy and the Environment
The Schwarzenegger Institute has teamed up with “Political Climate,” a bipartisan podcast exploring energy and environmental issues in America. After gaining listenership from across party lines including industry leaders, congressmen, activists and news media, during their first season, the podcast is advancing their robust public dialogue on climate and energy through this cooperation. To kick off the new partnership and the new season, Julia Pyper, Brandon Hurlbut and Shane Skelton sat down with Governor Schwarzenegger for an interview. Listen in under the link.
Following the interview, Schwarzenegger praised the podcast, saying: “I had a fantastic time sitting down with Julia, Shane and Brandon to talk about energy policy from a post-partisan perspective. I am hopeful the Political Climate podcast can bring together people of all political stripes, because the only way we will terminate pollution and create a new economy is by working together.”
March 3, 2019
“Instead of looking for hope, look for action. We can´t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.”
Thousands of students from all over the world followed Greta Thunberg´s example and set their governments under pressure to strike for #ClimateAction. For her commitment she has currently been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. We are very proud to welcome Greta Thunberg in Vienna at the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT and also at the #ClimateKirtag.
March 7, 2019
Climate Kirtag 28|5
The first CLIMATE KIRTAG will take place in the frame of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT on May 28th, starting at 3 pm at Heldenplatz. Every individual interested in world music and climate protection is warmly invited to attend. Guests will include Arnold Schwarzenegger, climate activist Greta Thunberg, the musicians Conchita and Pizzera & Jaus and Aksel Lund Svindal, alongside many more who are committed to climate action. Entry is free!
March 1, 2019
Release of the AWS Annual Report 2018
The outcome and impacts left by the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT initiative last year were wide-ranging. The Annual Report 2018 showcases not only the results and publications of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT 2018 but also diverse activities with our network of partners throughout the year. Outlining thematic priorities, as well as cross-cutting priorities have been guiding us to the next steps and focal topics for 2019.
January 30, 2019
Bilateral Meeting at the Hofburg
Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Federal President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen join forces to promote more action to step up climate ambition. In December they were both at the COP24 in Katowice, now they stand side by side again for the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT on May 28. We are very pleased that Alexander Van der Bellen will take over the patronage of the #climateAWS for the third time. A special present from Arnold Schwarzenegger: the brand-new AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT skis. We are also support the Initiative of Alexander Van der Bellen „For more Climate Ambition“!
January 29, 2019
Arnold Schwarzenegger meets Chancellor Sebastian Kurz
After promoting climate protection together with Ski aces in Kitzbühel, Arnold Schwarzenegger presented Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz with the special AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT skis to thank him for his great support for the third AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in Vienna on May 28.
January 26, 2019
New skis for Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger, a big fan of Kitzbühel (Austria), jumped at the opportunity to visit the Hahnenkamm Races again this year together with Heather Milligan. He was particularly excited to further his commitment to environmental protection together with ski aces Matthias Mayer, Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud, as well as HEAD boss Johan Eliasch who presented him with a personalized set of skis branded with AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT.
The skis symbolize the need for action and solutions in all areas of life to counteract climate change. Arnold Schwarzenegger is concerned with increasing climate change awareness and, with the support of these excellent skiers and great role models, hopes to demonstrate the alternatives open to us all.
December 17, 2018
“Katowice Climate Package” agreed at COP24
The UN Climate Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, has achieved its determined goal: on December 15th, the delegates finally adopted unanimously a rulebook for the Paris Agreement. In addition, the almost 200 states agreed on ways to implement the Paris Agreement and thus limit global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era.
To ensure that the rules are actually followed, the principle of "naming and shaming" was introduced: Responsible states are publicly named and denounced for violations. Thus, states are not forced to protect the climate, but can hardly escape it. Transparency and comparability are important prerequisites: Starting in 2020, states have to report every two years on what measures they are taking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and they will have to disclose how their emissions are developing.
The AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT team was present at the COP 24 in Poland and used the meeting of international experts, institutions and political representatives for important discussions and networking – also at the Austrian Pavilion, where innovative solutions "Made in Austria" were prominently presented
September 17, 2018
A Call to Action from California
The Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco for business, city and state leaders closed with a call on national governments to increase their pledges to the Paris Agreement. Subnational actors asked nations to update their pledges to reach the 1,5 degree goal. The message from Governor James Brown and Michael Bloomberg was clear: Even without President Trump and his administration, the US is upholding the Paris Agreement.
Hundreds of commitments have been announced by states, regions, cities, businesses, but also by investors and NGO´s showing that it is possible and urgent to step up climate action together, for instance:
12 regions - including Catalonia, Lombardy, Scotland, and Washington State, representing over 80 million people and over 5 percent of global GDP will have 100 per cent zero emission public fleets by 2030.
21 companies announced the Step Up Declaration, a new alliance dedicated to harnessing the power of emerging technologies and the fourth industrial revolution to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all economic sectors and ensure a climate turning point by 2020. Including: Autodesk, Bloomberg, BT, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lyft, Nokia, Salesforce, Supermicro, Symantec, Tech Mahindra, Uber, Vigilent, VMware, WeWork, Workday, and Zoox.
42 financial institutions representing over $13 trillion in assets announced a commitment to helping cities, states, and regions finance climate action including European Investment Bank, Work Bank, IFC and APG Active.
September 14, 2018
Road to Katowice and beyond!
The AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is part of an ever-growing community. We have outlined the most important milestones of this global process in a timeline up to our next conference on 28 May 2019 - also to clearly emphasize that the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is not a one-day event.
What has been going on since the last conference?
We just finished the first phase of the postprocessing: We have summarized all immediate results from the sessions of the second AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in May, 2018.
What are the next steps?
For the submission to the Talanoa Dialogue our results will be synthesized and structured along the guiding questions. In a more comprehensive follow up report we will go more into detail which also brings us important inputs and questions for the next AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in May, 2019.
About the milestones
As representatives of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT we will visit the next important events as further milestones in the run-up to COP24 in Poland: The European Forum Alpbach, the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco and the Climate Week in New York amongst others.
May 17, 2018
Donation for "Hope For Batwa Children"
We are happy to support a very special project of naturalist and chimpanzee specialist Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institut – Austria: „Hope for Batwa Children“.
At the beginning of her work, the focus of Jane Goodall was on research into wild chimpanzees. Then she realized that the rescue of chimpanzees and the nature of Africa can only be successful if the projects are planned holistically and implemented together with the people of these regions. “Education is the key to a better future!”, Jane Goodall is convinced. Therefore, the Jane Goodall Institute - Austria initiated the project "Hope for Batwa Children". Currently, 12 children of the BATWA Pygmies, one of Africa's oldest hunting and gathering tribes are being cared for in an own house. They have - for the first time in their lives - a real roof over their heads, enough food and go to school.
AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT would like to make a contribution and pass on some of the success of the conference bysupporting this great project. The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative Director and organizer Monika Langthaler presented the donation to Jane Goodall at the Movie Night following the conference on May 15.
April 30, 2018
Antonio Guterres comes to Vienna
It is a special honor for us that António Guterres visits Vienna for the first time in his function as UN Secretary-General on the occasion of the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT. Joining the AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT is a clear commitment for climate action.
António Guterres recently issued an urgent warning at a press conference in New York about the consequences of climate change. The headlines would be dominated by the escalation tensions and conflicts around the world, The UN Secretary-General said. “But the truth is that the most systemic threat to humankind remains climate change and I believe it is my duty to remind it to the whole of the international community.” Nevertheless, he was optimistic: “What the world needs is a race to the top – with political will, innovation, financing and partnerships. And I remain convinced we have what it takes to prevail.”
April 26, 2018
Our AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT Tram in Vienna!
Transportation is one of the largest and a growing sector for increasing energy demand and CO2-emissions: with a share of 29 percent, it contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions in Austria. In the EU is about 25 percent, globally the share of this sector is approx. 15 percent. In order to achieve our climate targets, urgent measures must be taken in the transport sector. A climate friendly infrastructure and a sustainable design our mobility system is therefore a particular priority.
The AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT wants to underline the important role of public transport in this context: For this reason, a specially branded tram is now on the way in Vienna. This not only draws attention to our conference, but also encourages climate-friendly transportation with its slogan: „Umwelt schützen – Bim benützen“ (Protect the environment – use the tram).
Vienna City Councillor Ulli Sima and Wiener Linien joined as partners for the branding of the tram. The AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT Bim will run until May 22nd.