BRUSSELS (AFP) – US actor and campaigner Arnold Schwarzenegger said people should be free to drive big cars and enjoy all-day jacuzzis without feeling guilty about environmental consequences on his first visit on Monday to the European Commission in Brussels.
The Hollywood star, known for his lavish tastes in his eight years in office as governor of California, defended his own fleet of military-style Hummer vehicles saying he had changed the engines so that they were not "gas-guzzling" any more.
"They are hydrogen engines and bio-fuel engines and one is being changed into an electrical engine," said the 65-year-old former body builder, who was in Brussels to promote an environmental project by global mayors and regional leaders.
"The important thing is that we should not make people feel guilty about driving big cars, or fast cars, or powerful cars. But we should let them know that they can be part of the solution by changing the technology in that car," he said.
"If you want to take your jacuzzi, take your jacuzzi all day long but use solar panels. If you want a flat-screen TV, watch a better model that is energy efficient," he said.
The famously monosyllabic action hero, who rose to stardom with "Conan the Barbarian" and the "Terminator" trilogy, has returned to films since stepping down as governor.
He has also founded the R20 Regions of Climate Change initiative to promote a low-carbon economy.
On Monday he said he wanted the environmental movement to be "more hip, more modern and more sexy".