SAN FRANCISCO – Moving to reinforce and expand the world’s commitment to climate action, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today welcomed America’s closest neighbors – Mexico and Canada – to the growing Under2 Coalition, a global pact of cities, states and countries pledging to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, the level of potentially catastrophic consequences.
With Canada and Mexico’s endorsements, the Under2 Coalition now includes 170 jurisdictions on six continents that collectively represent more than 1.18 billion people and $27.5 trillion GDP – equivalent to 16 percent of the global population and 37 percent of the global economy.
“We are forming our own Under2 Coalition and we are going to recruit, mobilize and work with all the states and provinces and countries. That includes Canada and Mexico, which are key partners in turning the tide against climate catastrophe,” said Governor Brown. “We are on the side of science and truth and whatever the flimflam artists do or say, we are going to overcome that.”
The announcement followed Governor Brown’s remarks at the Navigating the American Carbon World conference in San Francisco, hosted by the Climate Action Reserve, and meetings with Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna and Mexico’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Rodolfo Lacy.
“The governments in the Under2 coalition, like California, are leading the fight against climate change. They know that investing in clean growth will help all members reach their ambitious climate change goals and grow their countries’ economies. I applaud their leadership in reducing emissions and supporting clean innovation. Canada is proud to endorse their actions today,” said Minister McKenna.
In today’s meeting, Minister McKenna and Governor Brown also discussed the strong economic and environmental partnerships between California and Canada’s provinces and cities and the close trade ties Canada shares with America and California. In fact, Canada is California’s second largest trading partner and of the nine million American jobs that depend on trade with Canada, 1.2 million are in California.
“In Mexico, the short, medium and long term strategies are carried out in congruence with the National Programs and based on the General Law of Climate Change with regard to the implementation of public policies through the National System of Climate Change, in which the participation of state and municipal governments plays a fundamental role in the achievement of objectives and goals. Those actions also contribute to the commitments made by our country in international fora, particularly within the framework of the UNFCCC,” said Undersecretary Lacy.
While the majority of signatories to the Under2 Coalition represent subnational jurisdictions – including a number of Mexican and Canadian cities, provinces and states – with the addition of Canada and Mexico today and Sweden yesterday, more than a dozen nations have now joined the global pact.
The Under2 Coalition, which is made up of the jurisdictions that have signed or endorsed the Under2 MOU, was formed in 2015 by the states of California and Baden-Württemberg, Germany to mobilize and galvanize bold climate action from like-minded city, state and regional governments around the globe. Coalition members pledge to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 2 tons per capita or 80-95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
“The Under2 Coalition provides an unprecedented opportunity for jurisdictions from all over the world to come together and scale up innovative policy solutions to tackle climate change. We welcome the endorsements of Sweden, Mexico and Canada to the coalition, which is an invaluable tool to position them at the forefront of driving sustainable and prosperous economies,” said The Climate Group Chief Executive Officer Helen Clarkson.
The Climate Group serves as the secretariat for the Under2 Coalition, helping members share expertise and policy solutions, while tracking progress toward delivering on commitments.
California’s Leadership on Climate Change
Last month, Governor Brown reaffirmed California’s commitment to exceed the targets of the Clean Power Plan and the state’s efforts to curb carbon pollution, which include establishing the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in North America and the nation’s toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants. The Governor has also signed legislation that directs cap-and-trade funds to greenhouse gas reducing programs which benefit disadvantaged communities, support clean transportation and protect natural ecosystems.
This action builds on landmark legislation the Governor signed in October 2015 to generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings. Governor Brown has also committed to reducing today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent within the next 15 years; make heating fuels cleaner; and manage farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon.
The Governor has traveled to the United Nations headquarters in New York, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, the Vatican in Italy and the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto, Canada to call on other leaders to join California in the fight against climate change. Governor Brown also joined an unprecedented alliance of heads of state, city and state leaders – convened by the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund – to urge countries and companies around the globe to put a price on carbon.
These efforts build on a number of other international climate change agreements with leaders from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel, Peru, Chile, Australia ,Scotland and Sweden and Governor Brown’s efforts to gather hundreds of world-renowned researchers and scientists around a groundbreaking call to action – called the consensus statement – which translates key scientific climate findings from disparate fields into one unified document.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt in California and will disproportionately impact the state’s most vulnerable populations.
More information about the Under 2 Coalition can be found at www.under2MOU.org.
1.) Governor Brown delivers remarks at the Navigating the American Carbon World conference
2.) Governor Brown and Minister McKenna
3.) Governor Brown and Undersecretary Lacy
Photo credit: John Larimore, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. For high-resolution copies of these photos, contact Danella Debel at Danella.Debel@gov.ca.gov.