Ambitious UN goals for producing clean and sustainable energy can be met by promoting the wider benefits of clean energy policies – including economic growth and job creation – film star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday.

'We need to use arguments that people can feel,' Schwarzenegger said, opening the Vienna Energy Forum, a UN-sponsored event devoted to developing strategies for providing universal access to energy, while reducing carbon emissions.

Schwarzenegger, a native Austrian who first gained fame as a bodybuilder, developed a reputation during his 2003-2011 governorship of California for championing clean energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

He said that his experience in the US showed the importance of emphasizing only the dangers of global warming. More compelling arguments for clean energy policies include economic development, health benefits and national security.

He credited green energy policies for creating a million jobs in California, and said sceptics should not deter efforts to develop alternatives to fossil fuels and to expand energy access to all.

'We need to say we've had enough of the old energy model, that we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore,' he said.

The three-day energy forum, which continues through Thursday, kicks off a UN campaign to meet three goals by 2030: universal access to energy; reduction by 40 per cent of the ratio of energy consumption to economic output; and making renewables a 20-per-cent share of the world's total energy mix.

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