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Interview


“The UNFCCC process has run out of steam”


Erik Jaques meets Terry Tamminen, author, lecturer, and environment and energy strategist T


erry Tamminen is recalling the day after Arnold Schwarzenegger swept to victory in California’s 2003 guber- natorial elections. “I went into his office and I said: ‘Hey Arnold, congratulations. I don’t think you’ve any idea what you’ve bitten off. This is a tough job, but at least you have this great environmental action plan to execute’.” Tamminen’s re-enact- ment of Schwarzenegger’s instant response is Terminator pitch-perfect: “No, I don’t. You do.”


At the time Tamminen – formerly a serial entrepreneur whose ventures included run- ning a successful pool-cleaning business (with clients ranging from Johnny Carson to Madonna) and occasional Shakespearean thes- pian – was executive director of a think-tank by the name of Environment Now. On the


recommendation of environ-


mental law doyen Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Schwarzenegger had tapped him up to craft his campaign’s vote-swinging, party-bounda- ry exploding environmental blueprint. “When Arnold talks to you like that, that’s the time when you have to put up or shut up,” laughs Tamminen, who was swiftly drafted in as secretary of the Californian Environmental Protection Agency, and eventually went on to become Cabinet Secretary.


While Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial show may have fizzled out this January to less than favourable reviews – cf. budget deficit in excess of $25B, unemployment at 13%,


www.sustainablebusinessonline.com Sustainable Business | February 2011 | 19


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