SACRAMENTO - On the eve of the G20 Summit, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced via video message at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany that the State of California will convene the world's climate leaders in San Francisco, California in September 2018 for the Global Climate Action Summit.
"It's up to you and it's up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change. That is why we're having the Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, September 2018," said Governor Brown in his remarks. "President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris Agreement, but he doesn't speak for the rest of America. We in California and in states all across America believe it's time to act, it's time to join together and that's why at this Climate Action Summit we're going to get it done."
The Governor spoke via video message during the final hour of the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany and was introduced by Christiana Figueres, former United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary and currently the convener of Mission 2020 and Global Ambassador for the Under2 Coalition. The Global Citizen Festival was attended by thousands of people and featured remarks from Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Argentina's President Mauricio Macri and performances from Coldplay, Shakira, Pharrell Williams, Ellie Goulding and others.
California will convene representatives from subnational governments, businesses, investors and civil society at the Global Climate Action Summit to demonstrate the groundswell of innovative, ambitious climate action from leaders around the world, highlight the economic and environmental transition already underway and spur deeper commitment from all parties, including national governments.
Today's announcement is the product of months of discussions between the Governor and Christiana Figueres, who, following the conclusion of the successful UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, encouraged the Governor to host a summit in 2018 in California to drive further climate action. Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León has also been a key partner and recently joined other state Senators to urge the Governor to convene the world's climate leaders in California.
"The growing threat of climate change demands an immediate and unified global response," said Senate Leader Kevin de León. "California remains committed to a clean energy future and we welcome the responsibility to lead on America's behalf. My colleagues in the Senate appreciate Governor Brown agreeing to hold this global summit and look forward to working with him to welcome our partners from around the world."
The summit, which will be held ahead of the 24th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 24), will mark the first time a U.S. state has hosted an international climate change conference with the direct goal of supporting the Paris Agreement.
Governor Brown's complete remarks are below:
Hello, Hamburg. I'm Governor Jerry Brown. Greetings from California.
Look, it's up to you and it's up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change. That's why we're having the Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, September 2018.
Come join us - entrepreneurs, singers, musicians, mathematicians, professors, students - we need people that represent the whole world because this is about the whole world and the people who live here. We have to do something and we can do it. That's why we want to join together in this Climate Action Summit in 2018 in San Francisco.
Yes, I know President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris Agreement, but he doesn't speak for the rest of America. We in California and in states all across America believe it's time to act, it's time to join together and that's why at this Climate Action Summit we're going to get it done.
So, see you there. Thanks.
The Governor's video message and additional information regarding the summit can be found at: https://globalclimateactionsummit.org/.
California's Climate Leadership
Earlier this week, Governor Brown joined the leaders of Baden-Württemberg, Catalonia and South Australia - all members of the Under2 Coalition - to urge the G20 to reaffirm its support for implementation of the Paris Agreement and to recognize the role of sub-national governments, states, regions and cities, in leading and delivering on climate action.
"All over the world, momentum is building to deal seriously with climate change," said Governor Brown in a statement released by the Climate Group, secretariat of the Under2 Coalition. "Despite rejection in Washington, California is all in. We are fully committed to the Under2 Coalition and the Paris Agreement."
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 holding emissions to less than 2 annual metric tons per capita by 2050. The coalition now includes 176 jurisdictions on six continents, collectively representing more than 36 countries, 1.2 billion people and $28.8 trillion GDP - equivalent to more than 16 percent of the global population and 39 percent of the global economy.
Last month, Governor Brown was named Special Advisor for States and Regions ahead of this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 23) by the Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama - incoming president of COP 23. This followed meetings with Germany's top environmental official, Minister Barbara Hendricks, in San Francisco, and with China's President Xi Jinping during the Governor's week-long trip to China, where he also met with China's Special Envoy on Climate Changeand signed new agreements with China's national government through the Ministry of Science and Technology in Beijing and with the leaders of Sichuan and Jiangsu provinces.
In June, Governor Brown also formed the U.S. Climate Alliance with the Governors of Washington and New York in response to the White House's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. The alliance now includes 13 U.S. states - led by both Democrats and Republicans - committed to achieving the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan. The U.S. Climate Alliance complements the goals of the Under2 Coalition.
In March, 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 also traveled to the United Nations' 2015 Climate Conference (COP 21) in Paris, the United Nations headquarters in New York, the Vatican and the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto to call on other leaders to join California in the fight against climate change. 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, Sweden and Germany as well as Governor Brown's efforts to gather hundreds of 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.
California, the sixth-largest economy in the world, continues to advance its nation-leading climate goals while also growing its economy faster than the rest of the United States. In the past seven years, California has created more than 2.5 million new jobs, cut its unemployment rate in half, eliminated a $27 billion budget deficit and boosted its credit rating to the highest level in more than a decade.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt in California and will disproportionately impact the state's most vulnerable populations.