French President François Hollande presented the actor with the prestigious award

By Brianne Tracy
April 28, 2017 08:23 PM
Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Arnold Schwarzenegger was awarded one of France’s highest awards on Friday, the Legion d’Honneur.

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

“I’m also thankful for your fantastic effort to make COP21 a success and help lead the world to a clean energy future,” he continued in a Facebook post. “I look forward to continuing to work together to follow through and make our goals a reality!”

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.

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 the reduction of climate change.

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