Former movie actor-turned-US governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is in talks with law firms to sue several oil companies for their role in climate change.
The former Terminator star said he believed oil companies were among the causes for triggering global warming.
He is in talks with law firms in pursuit of legal action, he said during a live March 11 recording of POLITCO’s Off Message podcast.
The former California Governor compared the role of oil companies to those in the tobacco industry who hid the fact that smoking can severely harm people’s lives.
“The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did a study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill,” Schwarzenegger said on the podcast.
He is urging that every product linked to fossil fuels – from a gas station to the car you buy – should carry a warning label.
‘“Because to me,” he added, “it’s absolutely irresponsible to know your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco.
“If you walk into a room and you know you’re going to kill someone, it’s first-degree murder; I think it’s the same thing with the oil companies,” he said during the podcast.
“The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did a study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill,”
His legal action shadows that of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio who revealed his lawsuit would target fossil fuel companies BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell.
He said they each “intentionally misled the public to protect their profits.”
He intends to divest the city’s pension funds from fossil fuel reserve owners. In 5 years’ time, nearly $5 billion could be divested from the city’s $189 billion pension funds.
A study from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), published in Climatic Change, found that carbon emissions linked to the 50 biggest private oil companies, including BP, Chevron and Shell, were responsible for 16 percent of the global temperature rise between 1800 and 2010.
Brenda Ekwurzel, lead author and director of climate science with UCS, concluded: “What’s new here is that we’ve verified just how much specific companies’ products have caused the Earth to warm and the seas to rise.”