California Will Host Global Summit Focused On Paris Agreement

Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif., has announced the state of California will convene the world’s climate leaders in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018.

Brown made the announcement Thursday – on the eve of the G20 Summit – via video message at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany.

“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,” Brown said in his remarks. “That is why we’re having the Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, September 2018.”

The governor spoke via video message during the final hour of the festival and was introduced by Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 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 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Argentina President Mauricio Macri. (It also featured performances from Coldplay, Shakira, Pharrell Williams, Ellie Goulding and others.)

“President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris Agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America,” Brown said in his remarks. “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.”

According to a press release from the governor’s office, California will convene representatives from subnational governments, businesses, investors and civil society 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.

The announcement follows months of discussions between Brown and Figueres, who, following the conclusion of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, encouraged the governor to host a summit in 2018 in California to drive further climate action. California State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León has also been a key partner and recently joined other state senators to urge the governor to host the summit.

According to the governor’s release, 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.

In June, Brown also formed the U.S. Climate Alliance with the governors of Washington and New York in response to Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris 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% from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan.


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