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Arnold Schwarzenegger awarded France’s highest honour for environmental work

PARIS: Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was on Friday awarded the Legion d’Honneur, one of the highest awards in France.

The star received the honor in recognition of his efforts in environmental work and was presented the award by French President Francois Hollande. The ceremony took place at the Élysée Palace in Paris, where Schwarzenegger officially became a chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

“Thank you, President @fhollande, for making me a Commander of the order of the Legion of Honor for my environmental work,” Schwarzenegger posted on his Twitter account, along with a picture capturing the special moment.

“You are a champion for a clean energy future and your effort made COP21 a success,” he continued in another Twitter post. “I look forward to working together on the follow through.”

It was a busy day for the Terminator action man who flew out from Los Angeles earlier this week.The former  governor of California met the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo.

The Legion d’Honneur, founded by Napoleon in 1802 as an order of merit, is awarded to military and civilian personnel for distinguished service to France, but is not exclusively awarded to French citizens.

Last May, Hollande pinned medals to Tom Hanks, NBC newsman Tom Brokaw and National World War II Museum Director Gordon “Nick” Mueller.

Legion status is also frequently awarded to international artistic and cultural figures from diverse disciplines.

The Order of Légion d’Honneur is the highest decoration in France and is divided into five degrees: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross).

Past American recipients include Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford. Novelist Danielle Steel, Jerry Lewis and Salma Hayek are also among those entitled to wear the small rosette pin indicating their Legion status.

Schwarzenegger has long been an outspoken champion of fighting global warming, and played a big role in the COP21 world climate change conference in Paris in 2015 which negotiated a global agreement on climate change.



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