SAN FRANCISCO – Hours after convening the world’s climate leaders in San Francisco this week, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today joined Baden-Württemberg Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann to sign an agreement establishing a sister state relationship between California and Baden-Württemberg, Germany, pledging to further strengthen climate, energy and economic ties and collaborate on areas including urban infrastructure, technology and scientific research.
“The German connection is alive and well in California,” said Governor Brown. “The fact that this little Under2 Coalition has grown shows you that from small beginnings we get very large outcomes, as long as we keep persevering.”
The agreement builds upon more than three years of significant collaboration between California and Baden-Württemberg. In 2015, California and Baden-Württemberg partnered to launch the Under2 Coalition, a historic international climate partnership of states, provinces and countries committed to limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius. With new members added at the Summit, this coalition includes 222 jurisdictions on 6 continents, representing more than 1.3 billion people and $34 trillion in GDP – equivalent to 17 percent of the global population and 43 percent of the global economy.
Last November, Governor Brown and Minister-President Kretschmann welcomed new signatories to the Under2 Coalition in Bonn, where the Governor served as Special Advisor for States and Regions at the UN Climate Change Conference. Governor Brown also traveled to Stuttgart, Germany where he met with Minister-President Kretschmann and blasted climate change “denialists” during remarks before the Baden-Württemberg state parliament.
Today’s agreement follows the conclusion of the Global Climate Action Summit, where yesterdayGovernor Brown announced in closing remarks that the State of California is teaming up with San Francisco-based Earth imaging company Planet Labs to develop and eventually launch a satellite that will track climate change-causing pollutants with unprecedented precision and help the world dramatically reduce these destructive emissions.
Over the course of the week, Governor Brown signed a raft of measures to promote zero-emission vehicles and reduce carbon emissions; released a new report quantifying non-federal climate action in the U.S. with fellow Summit co-chair and America’s Pledge co-founder Michael Bloomberg; joined fellow U.S. Climate Alliance governors to announce a range of new commitments; met with Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, Mexico’s Deputy Minister for International Affairs Enrique Lendo Fuentes and U.S. Climate Alliance governors to advance a framework for ambitious climate action across North America; and participated in a ministerial dialogue with heads of state and international climate leaders, including European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete. Governor Brown and Commissioner Cañete also reiterated their commitment to greater alignment of California and EU carbon markets.
In addition, Governor Brown signed an agreement to enhance climate and clean energy cooperation with China, met with the Vice Governor of Jiangsu Province and joined leaders, including former Vice President Al Gore and China’s Special Representative for Climate Change Minister Xie Zhenhua, for a U.S.-China subnational climate dialogue. Governor Brown also joined a signing ceremony for 16 new Under2 Coalition members; held discussions with Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force members and indigenous community leaders; participated in an event to support the Talanoa Dialogue; and highlighted the importance of California’s landmark cap-and-trade program at an event co-hosted by the by the European Commission, Canada and California, during which he blasted the Trump Administration’s proposal to roll back methane regulation.
Today’s agreement can be viewed here.
California’s Leadership on Climate Change
Reaffirming California’s global climate leadership in the lead-up to the Summit, Governor Brown recently signed legislation setting a 100 percent clean electricity goal for the state, and issued an executive order establishing a new target to achieve carbon neutrality – both by 2045. The Governor also signed legislation to block new federal offshore oil drilling along California’s coast and announced the state’s opposition to the federal government’s plan to expand oil drilling on public lands in California.
Earlier this year Governor Brown issued executive orders to improve the health of the state’s forests and help mitigate the threat and impacts of wildfire, and get 5 million zero-emission vehicles onto California’s roads by 2030. Last year, the Governor signed landmark legislation to extend and strengthen the state’s cap-and-trade program and create a groundbreaking program to measure and combat air pollution at the neighborhood level.
Under Governor Brown, California has established the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in North America; set the nation’s toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants; and will reduce fossil fuel consumption up to 50 percent and double the rate of energy efficiency savings in buildings by 2030. The state has met its 2020 target four years early, reducing emissions 13 percent while growing the economy 26 percent. From 2015 to 2016 alone, emissions reductions were roughly equal to taking 2.4 million cars off the road, saving 1.5 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel.
In addition, Governor Brown has helped establish and expand coalitions of partners across the nation and globe committed to curbing carbon pollution, including the bipartisan U.S. Climate Alliance, which now includes 17 U.S. states representing 40 percent of the U.S. population, committed to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan. Governor Brown also partnered with Michael Bloomberg to launch America’s Pledge, an initiative to compile and quantify the actions of U.S. states, cities and businesses to drive down their greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement
California and 17 other states collectively representing more than 40 percent of the U.S. car market sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year to preserve the nation’s uniform vehicle emission standards that save drivers money at the pump, cut oil consumption, reduce air pollution and curb greenhouse gases.
Photo Credit: Joe McHugh, California Highway Patrol. For high resolution copies of this photo, please contact Izzy Gardon, Office of the Governor, at [email protected].