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California Governor Plans to Host 2018 Global Climate Summit

Gov. Jerry Brown will announce the summit Thursday in a video message to the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg

Huge waves batter the coast on Beach Boulevard in Pacifica, California, photo: San Jose Mercury News/John Green, via AP
3 months ago

SACRAMENTO – California Gov. Jerry Brown plans to convene a Global Climate Action Summit next year in his latest action to position the state as a leader in battling global warming as the White House recedes.

Brown will announce the summit Thursday in a video message to the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany. It’s scheduled for September 2018 in San Francisco and marks the first time a U.S. state is hosting a climate conference specifically focused on upholding the goals of the international Paris climate agreement, Brown’s office said.


Brown has been highly critical of President Donald Trump’s May decision to withdraw from the pact to fight global warming. Trump is in Hamburg on Thursday for a meeting of the Group of 20 economic powers, which includes many European allies that encouraged Trump not to withdraw from the Paris agreement.

“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 will say in the video, according to early remarks released by his office. “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.


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 its Paris goals and created an alliance of subnational governments aimed at slowing the warming of the planet.

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 traveled 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.

Meanwhile in Sacramento, Brown is struggling to reach consensus on a bill to reauthorize California’s cap-and-trade program, the cornerstone of the state’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

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