California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new climate change agreement between California and China on Tuesday to lower greenhouse gas emissions , just days after President Trump pulled the United States out of an international climate change agreement.
Many US cities and states disagreed with President Trump as well, and formed their own US Climate Alliance to continue to implement the Paris agreement in their respective areas. California is a part of that alliance. Brown, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) established the U.S. Climate Alliance to push states to adhere to the goals of the Paris agreement, even after Trump’s decision.
“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.”
The agreement, though nonbinding, aims to expand cooperation between China and California on renewable energy, zero-emission vehicles and low-carbon urban development, Brown’s office said. It will establish a joint working group of Chinese and Californian officials to come up with ways to work together, and to invest in programs that would cut carbon emissions.
Brown signed the pact with Wan Gang, China’s minister of science and technology, before meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“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.”
Brown is in the middle of a week-long trip to China, where he has signed similar agreements with leaders from Sichuan and Jiangsu provinces. He was sharply critical of Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, reached last year by all but two other nations.
Brown’s China visit was not the first time that he has attempted to lead on the world stage. In late 2015, he traveled to Paris — in the immediate aftermath of the San Bernardino terror attack — to participate in the global discussions around the climate change accords that eventually emerged — and which President Trump subsequently rejected.