Disruptive climate protests have emerged because people are fed up with “excuse after excuse” from governments to tackle the problem, actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger has said.
In recent years, climate protesters have jammed roads, blockaded sites, stopped traffic, plastered graffiti on property and burst into meetings and sporting events in a campaign of high profile and all-consuming disruption long time in Britain.
Schwarzenegger told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg: “These are people who mean well, maybe they’re not doing it the way we’d like them to.
“The bottom line is that people all over the world are angry at the government because they just have excuse after excuse about why they can’t do it.
A Just Stop Oil protester throws orange powder at the Crucible in Sheffield (Mike Egerton/PA)
“The world signed an agreement in 2015 in Paris to go and reduce greenhouse gases to a certain percentage, 70% of countries have not really fulfilled their promise.”
He added: “People are angry and say ‘what can I do?’, so they go and do anything because they are angry.”
He suggested that “it’s just that the will isn’t there” to make changes and instead of worrying about disappointing anyone, including carmakers or oil companies, “you need leadership and you need people to come together.”
Schwarzenegger’s career has seen him go from being a bodybuilder to becoming a Hollywood action hero, a Republican governor of California and a climate advocate.
Schwarzenegger called on environmental activists not to try to block development as a solution to climate change.
He said, “We need to get out of the way of stopping the construction of all the projects. We need to go build, build, build all these green projects.”
In April, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said climate protesters disrupting sporting events should be “ashamed of their selfish behaviour”.
Police clear the stairs of protesters during day three of the Randox Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse (Tim Goode/PA)
His comments came after activists disrupted the World Snooker Championship and the Grand National.
He told The Sun: “People who disrupt the lives of decent, law-abiding people by trying to gratuitously ruin major sporting events that many have worked hard and saved to enjoy should be ashamed of their selfish behaviour.
“Last year, the Government introduced new laws to clamp down on this reckless behaviour, but more is needed. That’s why we are moving forward with our public order project.”
Green New Deal UK co-founder Fátima Ibrahim told the program that “protesters are on the streets because there is a lack of action” and an industrial strategy is needed to create millions of green jobs for Britons to make renewable energy and for the public to have warmer homes.
She told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg: “I don’t know about you, but when I looked at Twitter, there was a lot of support for these activists.
“I think the politicians will have us believe that the public is upset with these protests.
“The vast majority of people want climate action, want their government to do more and support protesters and young people fighting for their future.”