NEW YORK – As the U.S. federal government fails to act on climate change, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. joined former Secretary of State John Kerry and fellow U.S. Climate Alliance co-chairs New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee today in New York to release a new report that shows Alliance states are on track to meet – and potentially exceed – their portion of America’s Paris Agreement commitments.
“We’re doing something in the face of inaction,” said Governor Brown in New York City today at the first public meeting of U.S. Climate Alliance co-chairs. “We’re all in and we’ll keep going and eventually, Washington will join with us because you can’t deny science forever, you can’t deny reality. And the reality is climate change is occurring.”
The bipartisan Alliance, launched by Governors Brown, Cuomo and Inslee in response to the U.S. federal government’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, has grown to 15 members with the latest addition of North Carolina. The Alliance now encompasses 36 percent of the U.S. population and $7.16 trillion of America’s GDP. Today’s report assessed climate action by Alliance states and found that they are not only on track to fulfill their contribution to meeting the Paris Agreement targets, but have also outpaced the rest of the country in reducing greenhouse gas emissions – 15 percent from 2005 to 2015 – while continuing to grow their economies.
Also this afternoon, at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, the Governor announced that Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael Bloomberg and Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra will co-chair the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco next September. The Summit will convene leaders from subnational governments, businesses and civil society to demonstrate the groundswell of ambitious climate action around the world, marking the first time a U.S. state has hosted an international climate change conference with the direct goal of supporting the Paris Agreement. The gathering will also help strengthen the push for greater emissions reduction targets at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 24th Conference of the Parties (COP 24) in December 2018.
This week in New York City, Governor Brown has met with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations Headquarters, delivered remarks at the opening ceremony for Climate Week NYC 2017 and discussed the growing importance of climate action from subnational governments and the business community at events with other global climate leaders, including France’s Minister of Ecological and Inclusive Transition Nicolas Hulot, former Vice President Al Gore and Michael Bloomberg. The Governor also signed an agreement with Denmark to further cooperation on water and climate issues, welcomed the Republic of the Marshall Islands and nine other U.S. and international states and jurisdictions to the Under2 Coalition and joined former Secretary of State John Kerry, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo at the Yale Climate Conference to highlight state, city and business-led efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
On his final day in New York City tomorrow, Governor Brown will give remarks at a forum hosted by the Skoll Foundation and the United Nations Foundation to showcase progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals before traveling to Quebec City, Canada to meet with the premiers of Quebec and Ontario on Friday. More information on the Governor’s itinerary this week can be found here.
California’s Climate Leadership
Governor Brown continues to build strong coalitions of partners committed to curbing carbon pollution in both the United States through the U.S. Climate Alliance and around the globe with the Under2 Coalition. The Governor also launched America’s Pledge on climate change with Michael Bloomberg to help compile and quantify the actions of states, cities and businesses in the U.S. to drive down emissions. In September 2018, the State of California will convene the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, where representatives from subnational governments, businesses and civil society will gather with the direct goal of supporting the Paris Agreement. In November, the Governor is expected to take part in a climate symposium organized by the Vatican and in this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, ahead of which he was named Special Advisor for States and Regions.
Earlier this month, Governor Brown called for deeper Trans-Pacific collaboration on climate change at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia. This followed meetings in June with China’s President Xi Jinping during the Governor’s week-long trip to China and with Germany’s top environmental official, Barbara Hendricks, in San Francisco. The Governor’s efforts to broaden subnational collaboration on climate in recent years also include international agreements signed with leaders from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel, Peru, Chile, Australia, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Fiji, Norway and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Reaffirming California’s pioneering climate leadership, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation in July that that extends and improves the state’s world-leading cap-and-trade program and establishes a groundbreaking program to measure and combat air pollution at the neighborhood level. In recent years, Governor Brown has signed legislation establishing the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in North America; setting the nation’s toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants; directing cap-and-trade funds to greenhouse gas reducing programs which benefit disadvantaged communities, support clean transportation and protect natural ecosystems; and requiring the state to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and double the rate of energy efficiency savings in buildings.
1.) Governor Brown welcomes Global Climate Action Summit co-chairs UNFCCC Executive Secretary Espinosa (left), Bloomberg (second from left) and Mahindra (far right).
2.) Governor Brown meets with former Secretary of State Kerry and Governors Cuomo and Inslee.
3.) Governor Brown gives remarks at U.S. Climate Alliance meeting.
For high-resolution copies of these photos, contact Danella Debel at Danella.Debel@gov.ca.gov.