Old enough to remember Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best movies? Then it’s time to act on climate change, Frans Timmermans suggested during a somewhat bizarre appearance at the Austrian World Summit.
The EU’s Green Deal chief used his brief online cameo during the annual event, hosted by the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative, to pitch the EU’s newest climate agenda.
“It’s been 30 years since Total Recall and Kindergarten Cop — I mean these things go so fast,” Timmermans said to illustrate the urgency of the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal. “We have to act now and we can, because the pandemic leaves us no choice.”
He cited raging wildfires in California — where Schwarzenegger was participating from his palatial home office — as a cautionary tale. “Governor Schwarzenegger’s home state is suffering so much right now — these are horrible images,” the commissioner said. “We don’t want that, we want to do something to prevent that.”
It followed an event opening involving a circus performer juggling pins made from recycled bottles, a man on stilts brushing trash bags off a giant globe and musicians with clown noses blowing into instruments made of scrap metal.
The camera during Timmermans’ address cut to Schwarzenegger, who could be seen mouthing “Yeah … Kindergarten cop.”
The Dutchman on Thursday warned of social backlash to the plans if the bloc fails to equalize their impact, but also warned that social concerns are not an excuse.
At the Austrian summit, Timmermans called for precise, step-by-step plans to restructure the automobile and chemical industries and launch energy-efficient building renovations to keep on track for the 2050 goal.