BEIJING – Calling for further subnational and non-state climate collaboration and action, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today convened dozens of regional and business leaders from around the world in Beijing for the Under2 Clean Energy Forum and welcomed former United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres as Global Ambassador for the Under2 Coalition.
“This is a heroic undertaking that you are a part of and I welcome you to the Under2 Coalition,” said Governor Brown in his opening remarks. “Nothing is more difficult, nothing is more important, but by being here we’re saying we’re up to the task. So let’s get to work.”
At today’s forum, the Under2 Coalition added five new members – Denmark, the state of Chhattisgarh in India, the region of Brittany in France and the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape in South Africa. It was also announced that former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres would serve as the Under2 Coalition’s Global Ambassador.
“I’m delighted to have been named as Global Ambassador for the Under2 Coalition. It has never been more important for states and regions to work together to help promote clean energy economies and limit global temperature rises,” said Under2 Coalition Global Ambassador Christiana Figueres. “To give us the best chance of staying below 2 degrees of warming, we will need to bend the curve of emissions by 2020, so I look forward to playing an active role in raising awareness of the Coalition’s ambitions.”
The Under2 Coalition is an international pact among cities, states and countries committed to limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, the level of potentially catastrophic consequences by either reducing their greenhouse gas emissions from 80 percent to 95 percent below 1990 levels or limit emissions to less than 2 annual metric tons per capita by 2050.
The coalition now includes 175 jurisdictions on six continents collectively representing more than 35 countries, 1.2 billion people and $28.8 trillion GDP – equivalent to over 16 percent of the global population and over 39 percent of the global economy.
The Under2 Clean Energy Forum was organized with the Climate Group, which serves as the secretariat of the Under2 Coalition and was co-hosted by Governor Brown, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and Sichuan Province. This forum expanded on the event Governor Brown launched last year in San Francisco during the Clean Energy Ministerial.
Also today, two new agreements were announced at an event in Beijing to spur greater clean technology cooperation, innovation and investment between China and California. The first agreement, between the Regents of the University of California and Tsinghua Holdings – a subsidiary of Tsinghua University, one of China’s top colleges – will develop the California-China Clean Technology Funds. The public-private partnership will focus on accelerating investment in low-carbon and clean energy projects, companies, assets and infrastructure.
“We look forward to demonstrating through the California-China Clean Technology Funds that meeting the world’s Paris commitments is not only possible, but also profitable,” said University of California Regents Chief Investment Officer Jagdeep Bachher.
The other partnership, signed by the California Energy Commission and Haidian District – home to many of China’s high-tech and startup companies – provides incubator space and market access for California clean energy and technology companies through a new California-Beijing Clean Tech Innovation Center in the Zhongguancun High-Tech Park (Z-Park), among other measures.
These new pacts build on the climate agreements Governor Brown struck on behalf of California earlier this week in Beijing, Nanjing and Chengdu with China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, Jiangsu Province and Sichuan Province, respectively.
Yesterday, Governor Brown met with President Xi Jinping for approximately 45 minutes at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and discussed the importance of expanding cooperation on green technology, innovation and trade. Governor Brown also spoke at Clean Energy Ministerial events on electric vehicles and the economic transition to clean energy and met with Hebei Province’s Governor and China’s Minister of Commerce.
Tomorrow, before returning to California, the Governor will meet with the Mayor of Beijing and deliver keynote remarks at the California-China Climate Partnership Dialogue at Tsinghua University with China’s Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua.
More information on the Governor’s itinerary in China can be found here.
1.) Governor Brown delivers remarks at Under2 Clean Energy Forum.
2.) Governor Brown, Under2 Coalition Global Ambassador Figueres and European Commission Vice President Marosh Shefčovič at Under2 Clean Energy Forum High-Level Dialogue.
3.) Governor Brown welcomes new Under2 Coalition members at Under2 Clean Energy Forum.
4.) California Energy Commission Chair Robert Weisenmiller at California-Haidian District Innovation and Clean Technology Reception.
Photo credit: Aaron Berkovich. For high resolution copies of these photos, please contact Danella Debel, Office of the Governor at Danella.Debel@gov.ca.gov.