California to become first state to hold summit in support of Paris Agreement
California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks in the Clean Energy Ministerial International Forum in Beijing on June 6, 2017.
California Governor Jerry Brown is not about to take a back seat to President Donald Trump when it comes to summit meetings, or for that matter, anything else.
On Thursday, as world leaders gathered in Germany for a high-stakes G-20 Summit meeting, during which climate change policies will be a major source of tension, Brown announced he will be holding a Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in 2018.
Since President Trump declared that the U.S. intends to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Brown has been using his status as the governor of the most populous state — and world’s sixth-largest economy — to negotiate directly with foreign governments, including China and Canada, on climate policies.
"It’s up to you and it’s up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change," Brown said in a video message to a festival in Hamburg, the site of the G-20 meeting.
"President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris Agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America. We in California and in states all across America believe it’s time to act, it’s time to join together and that’s why at this Climate Action Summit we’re going to get it done," Brown said.
Since Trump’s Paris Agreement announcement on June 1, dozens of mayors and 13 governors have bucked the White House and said they intend to meet the agreement’s goals anyway.
California is part of the Under 2 Coalition, which is an international consortium of cities, states, and countries committed to keeping global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, below preindustrial levels through 2100.
Coalition members aim to, among other actions, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels.
The 2018 climate summit in California will be timed to precede a round of U.N. climate negotiations, and according to the governor’s office, it will mark the first time a U.S. state has hosted an international climate change conference with the direct goal of supporting the Paris Agreement.
California aims to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and has put in place the strictest greenhouse gas emissions reduction plans in the country.