Schwarzenegger tells U.N.: Green rules help markets

POZNAN, Poland (Reuters) - Green regulations will help both the environment and ailing economies, California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told a 187-nation U.N. climate conference on Monday.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger takes part in a conversation on leadership and the economy at The Women's Conference 2008 in Long Beach, California October 22, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

“Of course, there are some people who say that we can’t afford the fight against global warming while our economies are down,” he said in a video message on the sidelines of the December 1-12 U.N. meeting in Poznan, western Poland.

“But the exact opposite is true,” he said.

California, which is the world’s fifth biggest economy on its own, has been leading other U.S. states in the fight against climate change.

“The green rules and regulations that will help save our planet will also revive our economies,” the governor aid.

The Poznan talks are reviewing progress toward a new global pact to fight climate change meant to be agreed at the end of 2009 in Copenhagen. The talks have been overshadowed by the global financial crisis.

Schwarzenegger also said he would attend the Copenhagen talks to support U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.

The Poznan talks are a step on the way to agree a new worldwide climate pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it runs out in 2012. The United States is the only industrialized nation that has not ratified the Kyoto treaty.

President George W. Bush said Kyoto was unfair because it did not set caps on emissions by emerging nations like China and India and he reckoned it would be too costly for the U.S.

Obama has promised much tougher action on fighting climate change and intends for the U.S. to be more involved in environmental efforts when he takes over the presidency in January.

Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Matthew Jones