Jul 082017
 
2018 Climate Action Summit To Take Place In San Francisco

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California Governor Brown Announces Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September 2018

On July 6th on the eve of the G20 Summit, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced via video message at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany that the State of California will convene the world’s climate leaders in San Francisco, California in September 2018 for the Global Climate Action Summit.

“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. That is why we’re having the Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, September 2018,” said Governor Brown in his remarks. “President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris Agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America. 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.”

The Governor spoke via video message during the final hour of the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany and was introduced by Christiana Figueres, former United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary 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’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri and performances from Coldplay, Shakira, Pharrell Williams, Ellie Goulding and others.

California will convene representatives from subnational governments, businesses, investors and civil society at the Global Climate Action Summit 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.

Today’s announcement is the product of months of discussions between the Governor and Christiana Figueres, who, following the conclusion of the successful UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, encouraged the Governor to host a summit in 2018 in California to drive further climate action. Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León has also been a key partner and recently joined other state Senators to urge the Governor to convene the world’s climate leaders in California.

“The growing threat of climate change demands an immediate and unified global response,” said Senate Leader Kevin de León. “California remains committed to a clean energy future and we welcome the responsibility to lead on America’s behalf. My colleagues in the Senate appreciate Governor Brown agreeing to hold this global summit and look forward to working with him to welcome our partners from around the world.”

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.

Governor Brown’s complete remarks are below:

“Hello, Hamburg. I’m Governor Jerry Brown. Greetings from California.

Look, 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. That’s why we’re having the Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, September 2018.

Come join us – entrepreneurs, singers, musicians, mathematicians, professors, students – we need people that represent the whole world because this is about the whole world and the people who live here. We have to do something and we can do it. That’s why we want to join together in this Climate Action Summit in 2018 in San Francisco.

Yes, I know President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris Agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America. 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.

So, see you there. Thanks.”

The Governor’s video message and additional information regarding the summit can be found at: https://globalclimateactionsummit.org/.

 

 

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Feb 132017
 
Emergency Order For Oroville Dam Area

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Governor Brown Issues Emergency Order to Help Response to Situation at Oroville Dam

 

UPDATE: Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued the following statement today (02/14/17) after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved both recent gubernatorial requests for federal assistance – one to support the response to the situation at Oroville Dam and the other to help with the impacts of January storms:

“I want to thank FEMA for moving quickly to approve our requests. This federal aid will get money and resources where it’s needed most.”

Yesterday, Governor Brown met with emergency response officials and sent a letter to the President and FEMA requesting a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance to support the communities impacted by the situation at the Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway. Separately, last Friday, Governor Brown requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for the state to bolster ongoing state and local recovery efforts following January storms that caused additional flooding, mudslides, erosion, power outages and damage to critical infrastructure across California.

On Sunday, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency to bolster the state’s response to the situation in Oroville and support local evacuations. The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has also activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California to its highest level and is coordinating with personnel at the Incident Command Post in Oroville, California and with other local, state and federal emergency response officials to address all emergency management needs.

*

The Oroville Dam in Northern California is filled to capacity by the recent wave of rain storms. Due to the weight of the water as well as the age and condition of the dam, a hole has developed in the auxiliary spillway of the reservoir making it risky to attempt lowering water levels. (The hole was discovered on Sunday 02/12/17, a day after the spillway was used for the first time.)

Without the ability to control water levels the Dam is at risk of overflowing and releasing massive amounts of water from Lake Oroville into the Feather River flooding widespread areas endangering lives and property.

The situation caused Governor Brown to issue immediate evacuation order for flood threatened communities. National Weather Service also urged residents to evacuate. Tens of thousands have been evacuated from towns below the Oroville Dam in Yuba, Butte and Sutter counties. (Some sources put the number at 100,000.) Seven Yuba area Sikh Temples have offered temporary housing to evacuees.

The Governor put the entire 23,000 member strong California National Guard on alert should the feared disaster occur.

As of Monday morning, the threat appears to be less severe. There are plans to fill the hole with rocks which would make the emergency spillway functional – and capable of releasing excess water at a measured rate – again.

*

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an emergency order on Sunday 02/12/17 to bolster the state’s response to the situation at the Oroville Dam’s auxiliary spillway and support subsequent local evacuations.

“I’ve been in close contact with emergency personnel managing the situation in Oroville throughout the weekend and it’s clear the circumstances are complex and rapidly changing,” said Governor Brown. “I want to thank local and state law enforcement for leading evacuation efforts and doing their part to keep residents safe. The state is directing all necessary personnel and resources to deal with this very serious situation.”

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California to its highest level and is coordinating with personnel at the Incident Command Post in Oroville, California and with other local, state and federal emergency response officials to address all emergency management, evacuation and mutual aid needs.

1. All citizens should heed the advice of emergency officials with regard to this emergency in order to protect their safety.

2. All agencies of the state government utilize and employ state personnel, equipment, and facilities for the performance of any and all activities consistent with the direction of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the State Emergency Plan.

3. As necessary to assist local governments and for the protection of public health and the environment, state agencies shall enter into contracts to arrange for the procurement of materials, goods, and services necessary to quickly remove dangerous debris, repair damaged resources, and restore and protect the impacted watershed. Applicable provisions of the Government Code and the Public Contract Code, including but not limited to travel, advertising, and competitive bidding requirements, are suspended to the extent necessary to address the effects of this flooding.

4. The California National Guard shall mobilize under California Military and Veterans Code section 146 to support disaster response and relief efforts and coordinate with all relevant state agencies, including the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, and all relevant state and local emergency responders and law enforcement within the impacted areas. Pursuant to section 147 of the California Military and Veterans Code, any and all provisions of Division 2 of the Military and Veterans Code or other laws of the State which require advertisement for bids for purchases of supplies or employment of services are suspended to the extent necessary to address the effects of this flooding.

5. In order to expedite response and recovery, Division 13 (commencing with section 21000) of the Public Resources Code and regulations adopted pursuant to that Division are hereby suspended.

6. The Office of Emergency Services shall provide assistance to Butte, Sutter and Yuba Counties, as appropriate, under the authority of the California Disaster Assistance Act, California Government Code section 8680 et seq. and California Code of Regulations, title 19, section 2900 et seq.

I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this proclamation be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this proclamation.

 

 

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Jan 252017
 
Governor Brown Delivers 2017 State of the State Address

Governor Brown delivers 2016 state of the state address.
Photo Credit: Joe McHugh, California Highway Patrol

Governor Brown Delivers 2017 State of the State Address:
“California is Not Turning Back, Not Now, Not Ever”

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today delivered his State of the State address, departing with the traditional practice of listing every issue and restating every priority to focus on the “broader context of our country and its challenges.”

In his remarks the Governor vowed to “defend everybody – every man, woman and child – who has come here…and has contributed to the well-being of our state” and committed to protecting the state’s gains on immigration, health care and climate change, guided by the principles that make California “the Great Exception” – truth, civility and perseverance.

Citing the English poet John Donne, the Governor made it clear that California is not an island and America’s future is inextricably tied to California’s future: “When California does well, America does well. And when California hurts, America hurts.”

Below is the text as prepared for delivery:

Edmund G. Brown Jr.
State of the State Address
Remarks as Prepared
January 24, 2017

“Thank you. Thank you for all that energy and enthusiasm. It is just what we need for the battle ahead. So keep it up and don’t ever falter.

This is California, the sixth most powerful economy in the world. One out of every eight Americans lives right here and 27 percent – almost eleven million – were born in a foreign land.

When California does well, America does well. And when California hurts, America hurts.

As the English poet, John Donne, said almost 400 years ago:

“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

A few moments ago, I swore into office our new attorney general. Like so many others, he is the son of immigrants who saw California as a place where, through grit and determination, they could realize their dreams. And they are not alone, millions of Californians have come here from Mexico and a hundred other countries, making our state what it is today: vibrant, even turbulent, and a beacon of hope to the rest of the world.

We don’t have a Statue of Liberty with its inscription: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” But we do have the Golden Gate and a spirit of adventure and openness that has welcomed – since the Gold Rush of 1848 – one wave of immigration after another.

For myself, I feel privileged to stand before you as your governor, as did my father almost sixty years ago. His mother, Ida, the youngest of eight children, was born in very modest circumstances, not very far from where we are gathered today. Her father arrived in California in 1852, having left from the Port of Hamburg, aboard a ship named “Perseverance.”

It is that spirit of perseverance and courage which built our state from the beginning. And it is that spirit which will get us through the great uncertainty and the difficulties ahead.

It is customary on an occasion like this to lay out a specific agenda for the year ahead. Six times before from this rostrum, I have done that, and in some detail. And, as I reread those proposals set forth in previous State of the State speeches, I was amazed to see how much we have accomplished together.

We have:

  • Increased – by tens of billions – support for our public schools and universities.
  • Provided health insurance to over five million more Californians.
  • Raised the minimum wage.
  • Reduced prison overcrowding and reformed our system of crime and punishment.
  • Made California a world leader in the fight against climate change.
  • Passed a water bond.
  • Built up a rainy day fund.
  • And closed a huge $27 billion deficit.
  • And during the last seven years, California has reduced the unemployment rate from 12.1 percent to 5.2 percent and created almost 2.5 million jobs. And that’s not all.

But this morning it is hard for me to keep my thoughts just on California. The recent election and inauguration of a new President have shown deep divisions across America.

While no one knows what the new leaders will actually do, there are signs that are disturbing. We have seen the bald assertion of “alternative facts.” We have heard the blatant attacks on science. Familiar signposts of our democracy – truth, civility, working together – have been obscured or swept aside.

But on Saturday, in cities across the country, we also witnessed a vast and inspiring fervor that is stirring in the land. Democracy doesn’t come from the top; it starts and spreads in the hearts of the people. And in the hearts of Americans, our core principles are as strong as ever.

So as we reflect on the state of our state, we should do so in the broader context of our country and its challenges. We must prepare for uncertain times and reaffirm the basic principles that have made California the Great Exception that it is.

First, in California, immigrants are an integral part of who we are and what we’ve become. They have helped create the wealth and dynamism of this state from the very beginning.

I recognize that under the Constitution, federal law is supreme and that Washington determines immigration policy. But as a state we can and have had a role to play. California has enacted several protective measures for the undocumented: the Trust Act, lawful driver’s licenses, basic employment rights and non-discriminatory access to higher education.

We may be called upon to defend those laws and defend them we will. And let me be clear: we will defend everybody – every man, woman and child – who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state.

My second point relates to health care. More than any other state, California embraced the Affordable Care Act and over five million people now enjoy its benefits. But that coverage has come with tens of billions of federal dollars. Were any of that to be taken away, our state budget would be directly affected, possibly devastated. That is why I intend to join with other governors – and with you – to do everything we can to protect the health care of our people.

Third, our state is known the world over for the actions we have taken to encourage renewable energy and combat climate change.

Whatever they do in Washington, they can’t change the facts. And these are the facts: the climate is changing, the temperatures are rising and so are the oceans. Natural habitats everywhere are under increasing stress. The world knows this.

One hundred and ninety-four countries signed the Paris Agreement to control greenhouse gases. Our own voluntary agreement to accomplish the same goal – the “Under Two M.O.U.” – has 165 signatories, representing a billion people.

We cannot fall back and give in to the climate deniers. The science is clear. The danger is real.

We can do much on our own and we can join with others – other states and provinces and even countries, to stop the dangerous rise in climate pollution. And we will.

Fourth is infrastructure. This is a topic where the President has stated his firm intention to build and build big.

In his inaugural address, he said: “We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.”

And in this, we can all work together – here in Sacramento and in Washington as well. We have roads and tunnels and railroads and even a dam that the President could help us with. And that will create good-paying American jobs.

As we face the hard journey ahead, we will have to summon, as Abraham Lincoln said, “the better angels of our nature.” Above all else, we have to live in the truth.

We all have our opinions but for democracy to work, we have to trust each other. We have to strive to understand the facts and state them clearly as we argue our points of view. As Hugo Grotius, the famous Dutch jurist, said long ago, “even God cannot cause two times two not to make four.”

When the science is clear or when our own eyes tell us that the seats in this chamber are filled or that the sun is shining, we must say so, not construct some alternate universe of non-facts that we find more pleasing.

Along with truth, we must practice civility. Although we have disagreed – often along party lines – we have generally been civil to one another and avoided the rancor of Washington. I urge you to go even further and look for new ways to work beyond party and act as Californians first.

Democrats are in the majority, but Republicans represent real Californians too. We went beyond party when we reformed workers’ compensation, when we created a rainy day fund and when we passed the water bond.

Let’s do that again and set an example for the rest of the country. And, in the process, we will earn the trust of the people of California.

And then there is perseverance. It is not an accident that the sailing ship that brought my great-grandfather to America was named “Perseverance.” That is exactly what it took to endure the dangerous and uncertain months at sea, sailing from Germany to America.

While we now face different challenges, make no mistake: the future is uncertain and dangers abound. Whether it’s the threat to our budget, or to undocumented Californians, or to our efforts to combat climate change – or even more global threats such as a financial meltdown or a nuclear incident or terrorist attack – this is a time which calls out for courage and for perseverance. I promise you both.

But let’s remember as well that after the perilous voyage, those who made it to America found boundless opportunity. And so will we.

Let me end in the immortal words of Woody Guthrie:

“This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me…

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.”

California is not turning back. Not now, not ever.”

*

From Anything L.A. Magazine:

  • Yes, to affordable education!
  • Yes, to affordable health insurance!
  • Yes, to living wages!
  • Yes, to human rights!
  • Yes, to climate control!
  • Yes, to a healthy economy!

Governor Brown takes on President Trump and defends the values California stands for (as last week’s Women’s March in Los Angeles has shown). Thank you Governor Brown: we spoke up and you heard us!

Anything L.A. Magazine is 100% behind our Great Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. who DIDN’T mellow with age. We are prouder than ever to be Californians!

 

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Nov 132016
 

Flag of the State Of California

On November 10th Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued the following statement on the 2016 presidential election and the transition to a new administration:

“Today we saw the beginning of the transfer of power to the President-elect.

While the prerogatives of victory are clear, so also are the responsibilities to ensure a strong and unified America. As President Lincoln said, ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ With the deep divisions in our country, it is incumbent on all of us – especially the new leadership in Washington – to take steps that heal those divisions, not deepen them. In California, we will do our part to find common ground whenever possible.

But as Californians, we will also stay true to our basic principles. We will protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time – devastating climate change.

E PLURIBUS UNUM.” (“out of many one” the motto of the US)

Wise words, Governor Brown. We’ll be moving forward in hope that the rights of Californians will be protected and that California’s commitment to meet the climate change challenge head on will remain in place. Thank you Mr. Governor, California needs your reassurance today more than ever.

 

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Sep 202016
 
Super Pollutant Restrictions For Healthier California

Governor Brown after signing the nation’s toughest super pollutant restrictions into law. Photo Credit: California State Senate.

Governor Brown Signs Nation’s Toughest Super Pollutant Restrictions into Law

On 09/19/2016 Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed SB 1383 by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), which establishes the nation’s toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants including black carbon, fluorinated gases and methane. If followed worldwide, these acts would help cut the projected rate of global warming in half by 2050.

“Cutting black carbon and other super pollutants is the critical next step in our program to combat climate change,” said Governor Brown at a signing ceremony near a Long Beach playground bordered by oil refinery smokestacks. “This bill curbs these dangerous pollutants and thereby protects public health and slows climate change.”

SB 1383 reduces the emission of super pollutants (also known as short-lived climate pollutants) and promotes renewable gas by requiring a 50 percent reduction in black carbon and 40 percent reduction in methane and hydrofluorocarbon from 2013 levels by 2030. Sources of these super pollutants include petroleum-based transportation fuels, agriculture, waste disposal and synthetic gases used in refrigeration, air conditioning and aerosol products.

“The Super Pollutants addressed in this bill – black carbon, methane, and HFC gases – are powerful climate forcers that have a profound effect on climate change and global warming,” said Senator Lara. “They also have detrimental effects on public health. This bill represents a unique opportunity to balance our global vision for the future with a much more local and immediate perspective. With these bold and ambitious goals, we’ll continue to set the standard for climate policy worldwide. And most importantly, those changes will be felt right here in California and reflected in the health of our children and future generations to come.”

Super pollutants have more potent heat-trapping effects but remain in the atmosphere for a shorter time than carbon dioxide. Reducing these pollutants can have a more immediate beneficial impact on climate change – and communities. Removing one ton of diesel black carbon from the atmosphere, for example, is equivalent to removing 1,000 to 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide pollution. Worldwide, methane emissions alone are responsible for approximately 20 percent of current global warming.

“The policies that California is implementing, if achieved worldwide, would cut the expected rate of global warming in half by 2050, save millions of lives, avoid millions of tons of crop losses per year and slow dangerous climate feedbacks such as melting ice caps and rising sea levels,” said San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography Distinguished Professor Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan. “The benefits of such a policy can far exceed the cost of enacting it.”

California’s ongoing efforts to improve air quality and address climate change have already led to important reductions in super pollutants, and have provided a strong foundation for today’s legislation. SB 605 by Senator Lara, signed by Governor Brown in 2014, directed the California Air Resources Board to develop a comprehensive strategy for addressing super pollutants, which ultimately included reduction targets now set forth in this legislation. During last year’s Climate Week in New York, the Governor gave remarks at an event hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme, where he outlined goals for cutting super pollutants that are now codified by today’s legislation.

One hundred and thirty-five jurisdictions representing 32 countries and six continents, or more than a quarter of the global economy, have signed or endorsed an agreement spearheaded by California to take actions to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius – the warming threshold at which scientists say there will likely be catastrophic climate disruptions. These Under2Coalition signatories seek to achieve these goals through a range of activities including reductions in short-lived climate pollutants like black carbon.

Many of the benefits of cutting super pollutants in California will accrue in the most disadvantaged parts of the state, where pollution levels and health impacts are often highest. Every $1 spent on cutting air pollution, particularly super pollutants, creates approximately $30 in public health benefit.

“Reducing short-lived pollutants is the right thing to do for public health and for environmental justice,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. “By taking on harmful super pollutants like black carbon, methane, and hydrofluorocarbons, SB 1383 is another critical tool in our efforts to prevent and mitigate the dangerous effects of climate change. With this bill, California is once again leading the way for the nation and the world.”

For full text of the bill, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov

California’s Leadership on Climate Change

While California emits around 1 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, the state is playing a leading role in broadening collaboration among subnational leaders and reducing climate pollutants.

California has cut black carbon emissions by more than 90 percent since the 1960s, has the nation’s strongest standards for limiting methane emissions from landfills and strictly regulates emissions from refrigerants, air conditioning and consumer products.

Last October, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation – SB 350 – to double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings and generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Governor Brown also committed to reduce today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent within the next 15 years; make heating fuels cleaner; reduce the release of methane, black carbon and other potent pollutants across industries; and manage farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon.

In the past year, the Governor has traveled to the United Nations headquarters in New York, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, the Vatican in Italy and the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto, Canada to call on other leaders to join California in the fight against climate change. Governor Brown also joined an unprecedented alliance of heads of state, city and state leaders – convened by the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund – to urge countries and companies around the globe to put a price on carbon.

These efforts build on a number of other international climate change agreements with leaders from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel, Peru and Chile and Governor Brown’s efforts to convene hundreds of world-renowned researchers and scientists around a groundbreaking call to action – called the consensus statement – which translates key scientific climate findings from disparate fields into one unified document.

Additionally, the Governor issued an executive order last year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, a goal which is now codified by historic legislation the Governor recently signed that sets the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets in North America. The Governor also signed legislation that directs cap-and-trade funds to greenhouse gas reducing programs which benefit disadvantaged communities, support clean transportation and protect natural ecosystems.