In a call to action, California Governor Jerry Brown told an international audience at a climate conference going on in Hamburg, Germany at the same time as the G-20 conference that “President Trump doesn’t speak for the rest of us,” as he announced plans for a global environmental summit next September in San Francisco.
Speaking via video to attendees at the Global Citizens Festival, Brown sent a strong signal that there are Americans ready to take a leadership role in combatting climate change despite the president.
“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.
His next statement drew loud applause from the crowd: “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 all states across America,” continued Brown, “believe it’s time to act, its time to join together and that’s why at this climate action summit we’re going to get it done.”
When California becomes the first state to host a global climate summit, it will precede the 14th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will be an even larger effort to bring together state, city and municipal governments to promise to fight climate change and then follow through by making good on their pledges, Brown’s staff told the Mercury News.
Trump thumbed his nose at the climate change advocates by scheduling his first sit-down with Russian President VBladimir Putin at the same time the G20 countries were scheduled to discuss issues around climate change.
Trump was not invited to speak at the Global Citizens Festival, but attendees did hear from other world leaders including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Argentina’s President Mauricio Marci.
There were also musical performances during the event by Coldplay, Shakira, Pharrell Williams and others.
Brown was introduced to the conference by Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief, who called the California Governor “a stubborn optimist from a surprising country.”
Figueres said the message that the conference will send to the world is that Trump does not speak for all Americans, most of whom do believe that climate change is real and that it is a real danger to the entire planet.
Brown has been a leader on the need to address climate change for a long time, helping shape policies in California that emphasize renewal energy sources and a respect for the planet nad its people.
Last December, Brown said if Trump took away the satellites that monitor world climate change, California would put “it’s own damn satellites” into the sky to do the job.
Brown has amped up his campaign since June when Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Shortly after that Brown took a trip to China where he met with President Xi Jinping to deliver his message that “disaster still looms,” unless governments take action, says the Mercury News, while predicting Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement would only be a temporary setback. He said Europe, China, individual U.S. states, and cities, among others, would take over the leadership role that has been abandoned by Trump.
Brown told the Mercury News just before his China trip that if Trump stays on his current course, “California will just redouble its efforts and the people of the world will have to rise up and take action. And I think in a paradoxical way, that’s exactly what Trump is stimulating – the very opposite of climate denial is climate activism.”
Brown met earlier this week with other municipal and state leaders from Germany, Argentina, Australia and other countries as part of the Under2 Coalition, to urge G20 leaders to stand by the Paris agreement and welcome the role of states, cities and regional governments in working to address climate change.
“All over the world,” Brown said in a statement, “momentum is building to deal seriously with climate change. Despite rejection in Washington, California is all in. We are fully committed to the Under2 Coalition and the Paris agreement.”
Brown said the steps he is taking are designed to build a consensus and encourage negotiations at every level. He told the Los Angeles Times that given the scope of the challenges, finding solutions will not be “a walk in the park.”
“Decarbonizing the world,” added Brown, “it’s like going from the Roman Empire to Christianity. It’s a total paradigm shift.”
Brown is showing real leadership even in the face of constant criticism from his Republican opponents and their surrogates, and he is making the entire world aware that the U.S. is not going to give up on addressing climate change just because the current president is a science denier.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, current New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Governor Kate Brown of Oregon, and progressive leaders from more than 30 cities, three other governors, university presidents, business leaders and others across the country are joining with Brown.
They are determined to not let commercial interests with huge lobbying budgets who are in the pocket of corrupt Republicans pollute freely and destroy the world while they stand by.
Take that, Koch brothers.
In the twilight of his political career, Brown is taking action and inviting the whole world to join with him.
Watch his announcement for the Global Climate Action Summit here: