Updated September 26, 2019. | Austrian-American filmmaker, politician, and former professional bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger lent Greta Thunberg his electric car.
Thunberg traveled Montreal to take part in a climate rally on Friday. Speaking to Scandanavian talk show “Skavlan” this week, the 16-year-old told the host that Schwarzenegger isn’t the first to offer her an electric car.
“A lot of people have offered to lend us, for example, their electric car,” said Thunberg, according to a translation by Newsweek. “One of the funniest offers I’ve received is that Arnold Schwarzenegger has offered me to lend his electric car if I want to.”
The Swedish climate activist and vegan traveled to the U.S. in late August with a full agenda. She delivered a speech at the New York City Climate Strike earlier this month, followed by a powerful sermon at the UN Climate Summit where she reprimanded leaders for not taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Along with 15 other young activists, she filed a human rights complaint against five countries for their carbon emissions.
The offer follows Schwarzenegger’s recent partnership with Veloz, a nonprofit that seeks to encourage Californians to buy electric cars. In a series of ad, the executive producer of “The Game Changers” posed as a used car salesman making outlandish arguments against going electric. While Thunberg didn’t reveal what type of car the 72-year-old offered her for the trip to Canada, he was present at the opening ceremony for Austrian electric car company Kreisel’s research and development center in September 2017.
Why Greta Thunberg Is Schwarzenegger’s Hero
It’s not the first time the two have crossed paths. Schwarzenegger’s environmental organization held a climate summit in Vienna last May. Thunberg — who received a nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize earlier this year — was joined by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen in opening the R20 Austrian World Summit.
Speaking at the event’s opening, Thunberg called out the leaders in attendance for their failure to act on climate matters, international news site Deutch Welle reported. The activist urged leaders to speak openly with the public about climate change without minimizing “the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.”
People are unaware of the enormity of the environmental issue because they “have not been told, or more importantly, told by the right people,” she said.
The public is influenced by celebrities, politicians, and CEOs, the young vegan activist explained. “And let’s be honest, this is a responsibility most of you have failed to take,” Thunberg said. “We are humans… We are a part of nature. We are social animals. We are naturally drawn to our leaders.”
“You cannot rely on people reading between the lines or searching for [climate change] information themselves,” she said, adding that there must be a shift in the way the issue is approached.
Late last year, the United Nations warned that humankind has 12 years to prevent a climate crisis.
“For too long, the people in power have gotten away with basically not doing anything to stop the climate and ecological breakdown. They have gotten away with stealing our future and selling it for profit,” Thunberg said.
Schwarzenegger was “starstruck” to have met the young influencer, according to an Instagram post by Schwarzenegger himself. At the summit, the former California Governor “praised Thunberg as a dreamer who had created a grassroots youth movement to hold those in power accountable for their pledges to roll back climate change,” Deutsche Welle reported.
Schwarzenegger stated, “If we fail to act it is their future at stake, not ours. Their vision should lead us to action.”