West Coast Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Climate Action at Close of COP22
On November 18th 2016 California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark today issued the following statement on the final day of the United Nations Climate Conference in Marrakech, Morocco (COP22):
“Today, as COP22 comes to a close – two weeks after the Paris Agreement came into force – leaders from across the globe have renewed their commitment to climate action. In California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia – from the Mexican border to the edge of the Yukon Territory – we stand with the international community. Our success demonstrates that taking action on climate change goes hand-in-hand with robust job creation and a thriving clean energy economy.
We know what’s at stake because we have seen the destruction firsthand – from year-round wildfires and historic drought to devastating sea-level rise. These impacts don’t respect borders or wait for the next election.
Our resolve is strong. We will continue to take bold action to achieve the targets set in the Paris agreement. We will mobilize our resources and our people. We will join with other like-minded cities, states and regions committed to action and lead this global fight.”
California’s Leadership on Climate Change
California is playing a world-leading role in setting aggressive climate goals, broadening collaboration among subnational leaders and taking action to reduce climate pollutants.
Last year, California and Baden-Württemberg, Germany formed the Under2 Coalition – an international pact among cities, states and countries to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, the level of potentially catastrophic consequences. With the addition of 29 new members earlier this week following a signing ceremony at COP22, a total of 165 jurisdictions have joined the coalition representing more than a billion people and $25.7 trillion in combined GDP – more than one-third of the global economy.
In September, California took bold action to advance its climate goals, establishing the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in North America and the nation’s toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants.
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.
This action builds on landmark legislation the Governor signed in October 2015 to generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings. Governor Brown has also committed to reducing today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent within the next 15 years; make heating fuels cleaner; and manage farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon.
Over the past year and a half, the Governor has traveled to the United Nations headquarters in New York, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, 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 to broaden collaboration among subnational leaders 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 gather 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.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt in California and will disproportionately impact the state’s most vulnerable populations.