Actor and former governor of California describes claims that climate action hurts the economy as ‘a bunch of nonsense’ and urges all countries to cooperate

Arnold Schwarzenegger is apparently on a mission to terminate the myth that protecting the environment hurts the economy.

The actor and former politician is in Australia to promote his new film Terminator Genisys, the first a planned new trilogy for the popular movie franchise.

During his stint as governor of California between 2003 and 2011, Schwarzenegger passed the first emissions trading scheme in the United States.

He has said all countries, including Australia, need to lift their game when it comes to tackling climate change.

“In order for us to be successful the whole world has to work together … Australia, Austria, the US – everybody has to work together,” Schwarzenegger told Channel Ten’s The Project on Friday night.

“So I am on a mission, I’m on an environmental crusade to go and motivate everyone to go in that direction.”

Schwarzenegger said after California introduced tough new environmental laws the state’s economic growth well outpaced the national rate.

“The thing that you always hear when you do that is ‘this will hurt the economy’,” he said.

“Going green and protecting the environment did not hurt the economy, it’s a bunch of nonsense.”

Australia’s prime minister, Tony Abbott, has consistently criticised the former Labor government’s carbon tax, which has been repealed.

He has called the tax destructive and said his government would “never do anything that damages the economy”.

‘It’s great to be back’: Arnold Schwarzenegger on his return to the Terminator

He was last in Australia for the Arnold Classic bodybuilding event.

And, once again, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back Down Under – but this time it’s to promote upcoming flick, Terminator Genisys.

The 67-year-old was seen getting into character as he posed by Sydney’s iconic Opera House.

“It’s great to be back. I promised I’ll be back, right?”

There was no way Arnold Schwarzenegger could get through the night without referencing his famous “I’ll be back” line, one of the many classic moments of his role as the Terminator which have helped cement his stature as one of the most recognisable actors on the planet.

Arnold arrived in Sydney on Wednesday night, seen striding through the airport with a cigar wedged between his teeth after a long flight from Brazil.

He’s in the city for a red carpet event in promotion of Terminator Genisys, the fifth installment of the famed action series, on Thursday night.

The film, which also stars Jai and Game Of Thrones starlet Emilia Clarke, is set for a June release.

The Austrian born actor, bodybuilder and politician was last in the country two months ago for the Arnold Classic – a bodybuilding competition named in his honour.

This was Schwarzenegger’s message as he greeted fans amid Arnie-geddon at Event Cinemas George Street Thursday night to launch a preview screening of Terminator Genisys, the fifth instalment of the series and the first time Schwarzenegger has stepped back into the role in 12 years.

Arnie took to the red carpet – or rather black carpet, in keeping with the dark, post-apocalyptic tones of the film – surrounded by hundreds of fans shouting out for selfies and autographs.

Cinemagoers were treated to a 20-minute cut of the new movie, and a brief Q&A with Schwarzenegger and his co-star Australian actor Jai Courtney.

Terminator Genisys

The new film, a $170 million revival of the Terminator brand, aims to hark back to its glory days under the watch of writer-director James Cameron. It was Cameron’s 1984 low-budget hit and sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which was the highest grossing film of the year on its release in 1991, which put both Cameron and Schwarzenegger into a new stratosphere in the Hollywood ranks.

Two further instalments followed, 2003’s Terminator: Rise of the Machines and 2009 Terminator Salvation, neither involving Cameron and the latter without Schwarzenegger at all, and despite drawing big box-office dollars they failed to capture the spirit of Cameron’s work.

The new film, directed by Game of Thrones and Thor: The Dark World director Alan Taylor, is set in 1984, and sees Kyle Reese (Courtney), the resistance fighter played by Michael Biehn the first movie, sent back to protect Sarah Connor (played by Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke), but with a twist in that original past is changed and the Terminator has a very different role.

Courtney says he was initially cautious about approaching another instalment of the franchise. “My reaction was probably one of a healthy amount of scepticism because you question the need and desire to do [it] at a certain point,  but when I read the script and saw what they were trying to do with it and how intelligent the concept was, I was really intrigued.

“The wonderful thing about this is it stays true to those early films that Cameron made and is loyal to that and will keep fans of that era engaged in the way that it pays homage, but takes things in a completely new and exciting direction and  the goal is to bring it to a new generation entirely and take it forward into the future from here.”

Terminator Genisys opens in Australian cinemas on July 1