California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger encouraged Russia to follow his state's example in promoting renewable energy sources and a green economy while speaking Tuesday at Moscow's Higher School of Economics.
"Moscow's main challenge is the same as in Los Angeles, Beijing, Johannesburg, Cape Town and all big cities — traffic. … But I am absolutely confident that when I come to Moscow next time there will be no traffic jams at all," Schwarzenegger said, RIA-Novosti reported.
During the speech, he stated his intention to focus on working on renewable energy issues once he steps down as governor in January.
California currently accounts for 1.4 percent of global and 6.2 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions but, according to Schwarzenegger, it uses 40 percent less energy per person than other U.S. states.
Environmentalists say Russia could benefit from California's experience.
California-based Bloom Energy, a startup that positions itself as “changing the way the world generates and consumes energy,” was among the 28 firms represented in Schwarzenegger's delegation.
Though no specific deals have been announced, Rusnano head Anatoly Chubais said Monday that the Silicon Valley delegates were prepared to invest as much as $1 billion into the state corporation and Skolkovo projects.
After speaking to a group of Russian students, Schwarzenegger had lunch with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and toured his museum, then left the country.
The governor was supposed to visit Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, but had to cancel because of schedule limitations, the Tatar Inform news agency reported.
Schwarzenegger clearly cemented his relationship with President Dmitry Medvedev during the visit, as both leaders exchanged messages and photographs on Twitter during the two-day visit.
"I discussed with @Schwarzenegger not only investment but also sports," Medvedev wrote on his official Twitter page after he showed the Austrian-born bodybuilder around his gym.
"My mornings always start at this gym," he added.