Gov. Jerry Brown Announcing Plans for Climate Change Summit in California

Laura Christensen
July 9, 2017

"President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris Agreement, but he doesn't speak for the rest of America".

According to Brown's advisers, the September conference will be the first meeting an American state has hosted to support the Paris agreement.

You gotta hand it to California Governor Edmund "Jerry" Brown - he is not letting President Donald J. Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords keep him from seizing the mantle of climate leadership.

Cristina Figueres, a former top United Nations official who was in charge of negotiations on the Paris agreement, introduced Brown at the Global Citizen concert as a "climate optimist". "I believe that California, New York, France and Germany and the other countries - we have to get our act together, strengthen our commitment and bring as many nations along as we can".

It's unclear how Trump will respond to the state-level diplomacy. "California's economy and America's economy are boosted by following the Paris agreement", Brown said after Trump's withdrawal from a pact with almost 200 counties, putting the the company of Syria and Nicaragua. Climate, particularly in the wake of Trump's announcement that the US would exit the Paris deal, was expected to be at the top of the meeting's agenda.

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"President Trump, he's going off the reservation hopefully for a month, a year, not much longer", Brown told the Mercury News and East Bay Times before departing for China.

Brown has said his goal was not to antagonize Trump, The Times reports, but he insisted more needs to be done on climate change.

"A summit like that takes on even more importance because", said Figueres, "it has become even more crucial for the United States to see evidence of the fact that the USA economy continues to decarbonize".

The event, on the eve of the G20 Summit attended by Trump and the heads of the world's 20 largest economic powers, featured remarks by the prime ministers of Canada, Argentina and Norway. "That is why we're having the Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, September 2018", Brown said. In a statement on Thursday, Brown's office said California would convene representatives from subnational governments, businesses, investors and civil society at the summit. "Despite rejection in Washington, California is all in". A coalition of cities committed to the climate action outlined in Paris - led by Garcetti - has swollen from a few dozen members to 331 in the last few weeks.

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