Schwarzenegger tells Trump to ‘join us’ on climate action

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger urged US President Donald Trump to join action to support renewable energy, at a summit on climate change in the Austrian capital Vienna Tuesday.

Schwarzenegger tells Trump to 'join us' on climate action
Photo: AFP

“To those of you who resist because you can't imagine success without  fossil fuels, we ask you to join us, every one, also you President Trump –  join us,” said Schwarzenegger, prompting applause from the audience gathered for the Austrian World Summit.

The summit is organised by Schwarzenegger's R20 climate NGO and has brought together business and political leaders, including UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, as well as climate change experts and activists.

In June 2017 Trump withdrew from the global Paris Climate Agreement aimed at capping global warming at “well under” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and his administration has made efforts to boost fossil fuel technologies.

“You said when you become president you want to have so many victories, that the American people would get sick and tired of winning. Well if that's really what you want, then join us because then you will have a lot of victories,” Schwarzenegger went on.

Schwarzenegger called for drastic action on pollution, saying it killed nine million people every year.

He pointed to the importance of promoting renewable energy, praising countries and businesses which had already made strides in this direction.

Earlier Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz addressed the summit, but was interrupted by a protester who took to the stage to highlight what she called the Austrian government's “empty words” on climate change.

Kurz allowed the protestor to make a statement before taking back the microphone to make his own speech.

READ ALSO: US immigration ban is crazy, says Schwarzenegger


Trump’s Iran deal reversal increases uncertainty for Austria’s Oberbank

One of the few European banks to have a credit deal with Iran said on Wednesday lending had been thrown into further doubt by the US withdrawal from a landmark nuclear agreement.

Trump's Iran deal reversal increases uncertainty for Austria's Oberbank
US President Donald Trump leaves after announcing his decision about the nuclear deal with Iran at the White House. Photo: AFP

In September, Austria's Oberbank signed a framework agreement to finance Austrian investment projects in Iran's infrastructure, healthcare and plant construction sectors.

It was the first European lender to do so since sanctions were eased following the 2015 pact between Iran and world powers.

However, since then the bank has not extended any funding, citing legal uncertainty.

On Tuesday US President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the “disastrous” agreement and the reimposition of sanctions on Iran.

Oberbank said it would have to wait for further details of the deal's future and the next US moves before deciding on whether it could eventually begin providing credit. 

“We have to think of the security of our clients,” Oberbank spokesman Frank Helmkamp told AFP, pointing to the danger of falling foul of US sanctions on businesses that have dealings in Iran.

In response to Trump's move the other parties to the agreement have said they will try to keep it functioning.

The foreign ministers of France, Britain and Germany are due to meet  Iranian representatives next Monday “to consider the entire situation,”  France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told RTL radio on Wednesday.

Oberbank's statement reflects the general caution over financial firms' dealings with Iran and especially now after Trump's move.