VIENNA — Arnold Schwarzenegger is praising Austria – and not because it's the country of his birth.

Arriving in Vienna on Wednesday ahead of the launch of his energy and climate change project, Schwarzenegger lauded "all the great things in Austria that are happening regarding climate change."

European Commission President Jos Manuel Barroso will be joined by Austrian Chancellor Werner Fayman and other Austrian leaders at what organizers describe as the opening meeting of Schwarzenegger's R20 initiative Thursday.

The project is intended to focus on the role of states, regions, cities and provinces in working to achieve U.N. and European Union environmental goals.

Schwarzenegger, an action film star and ex-California governor, is beloved in his native Austria despite weathering some personal scandals, including revelations that he had an extra-marital affair.

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