California and China sign their own climate agreement. Sorry, Trump

  • Published on June 7th, 2017

California governor Jerry Brown is in China this week. He signed a climate agreement with Wan Gang, China’s minister of science and technology, committing both parties to work together to lower carbon emissions. He will be the keynote speaker at the Under2 Clean Energy Forum in Beijing on June 7, addressing  leaders from 170 countries, states, and cities on ways to cut back carbon emissions and keep global average temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius. Brown will also meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping during his journey.

California Governor Jerry Brown by DonkeyHoteyby Steve Hanley 

A climate agreement of our own

“California is the leading economic state in America and we are also the pioneering state on clean technology, cap and trade, electric vehicles and batteries, but we can’t do it alone,” Brown said Tuesday. “We need a very close partnership with China, with your businesses, with your provinces, with your universities.”

Earlier this week, Brown signed similar agreements with with leaders from Sichuan and Jiangsu global covenant of mayors for climate and energyprovinces. A spokesperson for the governor’s office said the agreements are designed to increase cooperation between China and California on renewable energy, zero emissions vehicles, and urban development that focuses on reducing the carbon impact of cities. The United States has 10 cities with a population of more than one million. China has more than 10 times as many.

Twisting Trump’s Tail

Brown has been sharply critical of the portly potentate of Pennsylvania Avenue who chose to abrogate the committment America made to the other nations of the world in the Paris Climate agreement. “The president has already said climate change is a hoax, which is the exact opposite of virtually all scientific and worldwide opinion,” Brown said. “I don’t believe fighting reality is a good strategy.”

Brown has joined with the governors of 10 other states to form the United States Climate Alliance, a group that will work to continue the Join or Die US Climate Alliancepolicies that are at the heart of the Paris climate agreement, defying Trump in the process.

The governors of two of those states are Republicans. “Our administration looks forward to continued bipartisan collaboration with other states to protect the environment, grow the economy, and deliver a brighter future to the next generation,” declare Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker in a state about joining the Climate Alliance.

In a similar statement, Vermont governor Phil Scott said, “Growing our economy and protecting our environment by supporting clearer anymore affordable energy and transportation choices can go together. If our national government isn’t willing to lead in this area, the states are prepared to step up and lead.”

Decoding “All Of The Above”

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is also in China this week. He told the press that the US will pursue an “all of the above” energy strategy. That statement is political code that means the US will strive to make sure fossil fuels remain dominant in the energy sector.

It’s part of the fraud that supports one of the talking points reactionaries love to use — the one about how government should not be picking winners and losers in the marketplace. In fact, that is precisely what the government is doing for the fossil fuel industry, which contributes so generously to political candidates who promise in advance to only say good things about fossil fuels.

Throwing Down The Gauntlet

Brown has thrown down the gauntlet to The Donald. To the fossil fuel reactionaries, California is anathema. It has higher taxes and more regulations than any other state. Yet it leads the nation in job and wealth creation. Entrepreneurs flock there in droves to create new businesses. It has now assumed an important new role in national politics, one which is in direct conflict with the national government, such as it is, in Washington. Which one is offering the best roadmap for America’s future? Time will tell.

(Originally appeared at our sister-site, Cleantechnica. Image CC by DonkeyHotey.)

About the Author

writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island. You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.