World

Schwarzenegger, B.C.'s Campbell flex green muscles

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell made a green partnership in a meeting in Los Angeles on Thursday.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell have formed a green partnership.

Campbell met with Schwarzenegger for an hour in Los Angeles on Thursday to discuss everything from ways to reduce vehicle emissions, to plans for creating green sea ports.

Campbell said he and Schwarzenegger are ready to pursuejoint green projects together, regardless of whether they have the backing of their respective federal governments.

"California and British Columbia have a chance to act together," Campbell said after the meeting. "I think the governor agrees with me that we don't want to wait for our larger national governments to move on this. We want to do it together."

One of the projects the two leaders discussed at length is British Columbia's proposed hydrogen highway, planned for 2010. The highway would be lined with hydrogen gas stations, making it attractive for people driving environmentally friendly hydrogen-fuelled cars.

The highway would link California to British Columbia.

Both Campbell and Schwarzenegger have been making the environment their focus lately.

Campbell and his Liberal government announced in February thatthey intend to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020.

Calif. bill aims to cut emissions

Schwarzenegger, a Republican who made a name for himself as a bodybuilder andHollywood movie star, signed a bill in September that calls for California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissionsby 25 per cent by 2020.

B.C. environmentalists say they are happy to see the two leaders go green.

"I would love to see some kind of good-natured rivalry erupt between us and California, between Gordo and Arnie, around who's going to out-green who," said Lisa Matthaus, spokeswoman for the Sierra Club of B.C.

Campbell has invited Schwarzenegger and other Pacific Coast governors to B.C. to develop an environmental coalition, something Campbell calls the Pacific Coast Collaborative.

A date for that meeting has not been set, but Schwarzenegger's staff members have been in B.C. making plans.

With files from the Canadian Press