This is the third installment in a series of posts on California’s
climate leadership. These posts address a wide range of related topics including economic
benefits, renewable energy, electric vehicles, and cap-and-trade.
In the wake of the Trump administration’s abdication, California has become the US leader on climate action. The Golden State is reaching out and making deals both domestically and with much of the rest of the world. The state is working with nations like China, Canada, Mexico and Scotland to broaden the scope of climate action.
California Governor Jerry Brown has been emboldened by the Trump administration’s failure to act on climate. Late last year at the COP23 climate meeting, Gov. Brown said, “We may not represent Washington, but we will represent the wide swath of American people who will keep the faith on this.”
In February the environment ministers of Canada and Mexico went to San Francisco to sign a global pact to reduce greenhouse gases. The deal is being called the NAFTA of climate action.
“I want to do everything we can to keep America on track, keep the world on track, and lead in all the ways California has,” Governor Brown said. “We’re looking to do everything we can to advance our program, regardless of whatever happens in Washington.”
In April Gov. Brown signed a climate cooperation deal with the Scottish Government. The agreement includes a pledge to share technology and advance political advocacy. California is now a global leader on climate action. “Erasing climate change may take place in Donald Trump’s mind, but nowhere else,” Mr. Brown said.
Perhaps most importantly Gov. Brown is working with China to reduce emissions and curb global warming. In April, a delegation from California traveled to Beijing to help their Chinese counterparts to craft a cap-and-trade plan. “We have people working in China, in their regulatory agencies, consulting with them, speaking fluent Mandarin, working with the Chinese government — giving them advice on cap and trade,” Mr. Brown said.
In June Brown traveled to China where he signed a historic climate cooperation deal with the world’s largest polluter. Brown signed deals with the Chinese Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang Brown and the leaders in two Chinese provinces, Jiangsu and Sichuan.
“It’s very paradoxical that we have a president who says two things: No. 1, climate change is a hoax. That’s his first value proposition,” Brown said. “His second is that it was created by China. And the truth is that China is on a path to do a hell of a lot more than the Trump administration in dealing with climate change. So, if there’s any hoax, it’s in the White House, not in Beijing.”
Shortly after signing deals in China, Brown closed another climate deal with Germany. “California and Germany unite the world leaders in the fight against climate change, the existential threat of our time,” Brown said in a statement released by the German ministry.
As the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth reneges on his global responsibilities the great state of California is stepping up to fill the void and reap the economic benefits. Trump may try to cast himself as the deal-maker but it is Gov. Brown that is making all the deals.
California’s Cap-and-Trade Program is Alive and Well
California’s Climate Leadership in the Wake of Trump’s Abdication
California is Reaping Economic Benefits from Climate Action
California’s Climate Leadership and the Losers who Strive to Undermine these Gains
California’s Clean Energy Legislation Hides Problems
EVs Illustrate the Problems with California’s Ambitious Climate Targets
Climate Impacts in California