California Gov Jerry Brown plans to convene a climate conference next year, his latest action to position the state as a leader in battling global warming as the White House recedes. The summit set for 2018 in San Francisco will mark the first time a state is hosting a climate gathering aimed at upholding the goals of the Paris climate agreement, an international pact to fight global warming that President Donald Trump is exiting. Brown announced the Global Climate Action Summit yesterday in a video message to the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany. His announcement comes as Trump is in Hamburg for a meeting of the Group of 20 economic powers, which includes many European allies that encouraged the president not to withdraw from the Paris agreement.
The Trump administration’s decision to roll back environmental regulations in the United States and withdraw from the international agreement has elevated Brown’s profile on the world stage. He travelled to China earlier this year to discuss climate policy and will serve as a special envoy to states and regions at the United Nation’s November climate conference.
“Yes, I know President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America,” Brown said in the video. “We in California and in states all across America believe it’s time to act.” Brown’s climate conference will feature representatives of subnational governments, businesses, investors, musicians and others to highlight action to fight global warming and to “spur deeper commitment” from national governments.
A full list of attendees hasn’t been released, and it’s unclear if any foreign presidents or prime ministers plan to attend. “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 carbonisation and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change,” Brown said in the video.
Building alliances to fight climate change has been a key piece of Brown’s tenure. He’s already launched a multi-state effort to keep the country on track to meet the Paris goals and created an alliance of subnational governments aimed at slowing the warming of the planet. Meanwhile in Sacramento, Brown is struggling to reach consensus on a bill to reauthorise California’s cap-and-trade program, the cornerstone of the state’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.