On climate, former Governor Schwarzenegger should put his money where his mouth is
BERKELEY, CA — On Monday September 8, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will join California officials to host a symposium highlighting the Golden State’s leadership in the fight against climate change, and will later unveil his portrait in the state capitol building.
But even as the celebrity former governor has burnished a “green” image, he maintains part-ownership of the investment firm Dimensional Fund Advisors — DFA — a company with roughly $775 million invested in rain forest destruction through some of the most destructive timber, palm oil and pulp and paper companies in the world.
By profiting from rain forest destruction, the former governor patently undermines any efforts he may make to implement climate-friendly policies.
Among his initiatives, the former governor has aggressively promoted a policy to have California industries purchase carbon credits generated from tropical forest protection, in order to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. But he has failed to address his own financial stake in advancing rain forest destruction.
“The only way to truly reduce climate emissions, whether from tropical deforestation or from industrial pollution in California, is to cut off the economic drivers of these emissions,” said Jeff Conant, Senior international forest campaigner for Friends of the Earth. “In order to be a real climate hero, Governor Schwarzenegger must divest from forest destruction.”