Arnold Schwarzenegger is supposed to be making the rounds to promote the upcoming film Terminator: Dark Fate, but he can't stop talking about Greta Thunberg. Maybe it's because while Schwarzenegger plays a character with the chance to help save the world, Thunberg is trying to do the same thing in real life — although the threat is the irreparable harm of human-caused climate change rather than a robotic killing machine sent from the future. During an interview with Sky News, Schwarzenegger said he's happy to lend his support to Thunberg in any way possible, including hooking her up with an electric car.
"Greta is fantastic," Schwarzenegger told Sky News. "She's a child and here's children saying, 'when you screw this up with the environment it's our generation that's going to suffer,' and I think that's a very compelling message and I think politicians are listening." He added, "Of course I will be as supportive of her as possible to try and get her message out."
Schwarzenegger has been a fan of Thunberg for some time now, and has done what he can to show his support for the 16-year-old activist. Back in May of this year, Schwarzenegger met Thunberg for the first time and tweeted that he was "starstruck" by her. According to a report from Car and Driver, the movie star later offered Thunberg a Tesla Model 3 that she could use to get around in an environmentally friendly fashion as she tours North America. Thunberg is using the car to travel across the United States and Canada, stopping in new cities every Friday to participate in her traditional FridaysForFuture protest before eventually making her way to Santiago, Chile on December 2 for the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Schwarzenegger has always been something of an environmentalist, even when he was serving as governor of California as a Republican. During his time in office, he worked with Democratic legislators to craft and pass the AB32, the landmark California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The bill required the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2010, then to 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Essentially, it set more ambitious goals for emissions reductions than the Paris Climate Agreement did, and set them nearly a decade before the global accord was crafted and agreed to.
Since leaving office, Schwarzenegger has used his fame to push for smarter environmental policy. He regularly talks about the issue, attempting to help activists frame it in a way that is more palatable to skeptics by focusing on the effects of pollution that are immediately evident rather than the long-term effects that are, at the moment, more theoretical. Schwarzenegger also founded the R20 Regions of Climate network, a group of regional leaders who work together to create a greener economy and bring environmentally friendly solutions to developing nations around the world. While Schwarzenegger speaks more to the middle ground of how people approach climate change, Thunberg reminds us of the dire threats that loom if we don't take action now. The pairing of the two would make for a great buddy cop movie, but we'll settle for better environmental policy.