Office of Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.

California Ignores The White House And Signs Climate Deal With China

California and China take the lead.

5 SEP 2017

On Tuesday, just days after President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed an agreement with China to lower greenhouse gas emissions.


According to Brown's office, the non-binding agreement seeks to improve cooperation between California and China on the advancement of renewable energy technologies such as zero-emission vehicles, energy storage, grid modernization and low-carbon urban development.

The agreement will establish a group, made up of Chinese and Californian officials, that will meet to discuss and share information on strategies to reduce carbon emissions.

Brown signed the agreement with Wan Gang, China's minister of science and technology, while on a week-long trip to China.

"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 on Tuesday. 

"We need a very close partnership with China, with your businesses, with your provinces, with your universities."

After signing the agreement, Brown met privately with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two leaders reported afterwards that they have agreed to expand trade between California and China, especially in terms of green technology and innovation.

According to the governor, they did not discuss Trump's withdrawal from the Paris accord.


"Xi spoke in very positive terms," Brown said after the meeting.

"I don't think there's any desire to get into verbal battles with President Trump."

The climate agreement with China is not the only way that Governor Brown is taking the lead on climate change.

On Monday, Gov. Brown, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced the formation of the United States Climate Alliance.

Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia have all pledged to reduce their carbon emissions, while also meeting the requirements of the Clean Power Plan.

"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," Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said in a statement.

Before heading back home, Brown will also be co-hosting the Under2 Clean Energy Forum on Wednesday in Beijing, which is a gathering of 170 cities, states and nations all working together to keep temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius.

"Nobody can stay on the sidelines. We can't afford any dropouts in the tremendous human challenge to make the transition to a sustainable future," Brown said in an interview on Tuesday.

When Brown was asked how the US could take the lead on climate change efforts once again, Brown replied: "Science, facts, the world, the marketplace."