Schwarzenegger opens climate change summit |

Schwarzenegger opens climate change summit

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. ” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has opened his climate change summit, telling attendees from 19 other countries they can protect both the environment and their economies.

Schwarzenegger’s message was reinforced by President-elect Barack Obama, who spoke to participants in a taped video.

Obama said the U.S. economy would continue to weaken if climate change and dependence on foreign oil are left unaddressed. He vowed his administration would vigorously take part in U.N. negotiations next year on a new global warming treaty.

The two-day summit has drawn more than 800 scientists, environmentalists, regional government representatives and industry officials to discuss strategies to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Participants also came from 17 other states.

Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has gained notoriety for his global warming efforts in California. He hopes the summit will influence negotiations over a new global climate treaty during a U.N. gathering in Poland next month.