California Will Hold Its Own Global Climate Summit As Trump Refuses To Act

“I know President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America," said California Gov. Jerry Brown.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced Thursday he’ll host a global climate summit in San Francisco next year, vowing to continue reducing carbon emissions even as President Donald Trump exits the Paris climate agreement to fight global warming. 

In a pre-recorded video message airing at the Global Citizen Festival, a kick-off event on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, Brown said the September 2018 conference will bring together “entrepreneurs, singers, musicians, mathematicians, professors, students” and others from across the globe to “join together to combat the existential threat of climate change.”

“Yes, I know President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America,” Brown said in the video. “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.”

Brown’s announcement is the latest act of defiance from states vowing to uphold the 2015 global climate accord after Trump announced in May that the U.S. will pull out of the deal

Brown, along with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), formed the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of states committed to the goals laid out in the Paris accord. Nine other states and Puerto Rico have since joined that coalition. 

“If the President is going to be AWOL in this profoundly important human endeavor, then California and other states will step up,” Brown said in a statement at the time. 

Other governors, mayors and businesses across the country have also said they’ll continue to reduce emissions without the president’s support. 

Brown, a longtime climate advocate, has also taken global diplomacy on emissions into his own hands, visiting China last month to meet with leaders there on how to cap emissions levels at 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Brown’s invitation to global leaders comes as Trump is set to meet with fellow heads of state at the G-20 meeting. Climate, particularly in the wake of Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would exit the Paris deal, was expected to be at the top of the meeting’s agenda. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, host of the gathering of the world’s largest economies, specifically called out Trump’s climate stance ahead of the meeting.

“Since the decision of the U.S. to quit the Paris climate agreement, we are more determined than ever to make it successful,” she said last week. “We must tackle this existential challenge, and we cannot wait until every last person on Earth has been convinced of the scientific proof.”

Just two other countries — Syria and Nicaragua — are not parties to the Paris agreement. 

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