Plans to Host 2018 Global Climate Summit
July 7, 2017
California Governor Jerry Brown has announced that a Global Climate
Action summit will be held in San Francisco in September 2018, in a
challenge to President Donald Trump's plan to withdraw the United States
from the Paris climate accord.
Nearly 200 nations have signed the 2015 agreement to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions, which are widely thought to be responsible for rising
temperatures, and Brown is one of a number of local and regional leaders
working to build coalitions without Trump.
Brown spoke by video on Thursday to the Global Citizen Festival in
Hamburg, Germany, saying the U.S. leader "doesn't speak for the rest of
America," and that individual states and cities could take action on
Brown said he would convene next year's summit of entrepreneurs,
musicians and academic experts to help achieve that.
G-20 leaders arrive in Hamburg
Trump, meanwhile, arrived in Hamburg ahead of the Group of 20 (G-20)
summit, a meeting of leaders of the world's top industrial nations and
the European Union.
Anti-capitalist demonstrations against the G-20 summit descended into
chaos Thursday as some protesters clashed with German police, who tried
to disperse the crowds with tear gas and water cannons.
Inside the Global Citizen Festival, which preceded the start of the
two-day summit, politicians and entertainers urged action on global
issues from health to education to climate change.
California has taken a leadership role on climate legislation since the
1970s, said political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe of the Price School
of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. She noted the
U.S. state has a waiver from the federal government to impose stricter
emissions standards than the nation as a whole, and 13 states and the
District of Columbia have adopted the tougher California rules.
California is also part of the Under2 Coalition, a group of 176 local
and regional jurisdictions in 36 countries that have pledged to limit
the rise in global average temperatures to under 2 degrees Celsius.
Brown is a vocal advocate for the coalition.
With Trump in office, California is conducting its own foreign policy,
said political scientist Raphael Sonenshein of the Pat Brown Institute
for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. The
nonpartisan institute is named after Jerry Brown's father, who was
California's governor 50 years ago.
Local, regional leaders
Sonenshein said the United States has a powerful system of state
governments and that governors like Brown are finding global leadership
roles, "especially given the hunger in the world for the U.S. to be part
of the Paris climate agreement."
In California, even some Republicans support strong environmental
regulations. Former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a
bill in 2006 requiring the state to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to
1990 levels by 2020, and he has criticized Trump's decision to withdraw
from the Paris accord.
In announcing the withdrawal of the U.S. from the agreement in June,
Trump called the climate accord a bad deal for American businesses and
workers, but he said he would be willing to renegotiate better terms.
However, other world leaders said the agreement could not be
Most Americans believe that global warming is occurring but are divided
on the urgency of the problem, with Democrats most worried and
Republicans often more skeptical.
a study released in March, the Yale Program on Climate Change
Communication found that 58 percent of Americans believed that climate
change is mostly caused by humans. Three-quarters of those surveyed
supported regulating the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide as a pollutant.
Jerry Brown was one of a number of national and regional leaders who
addressed issues of climate, gender equality and sustainable development
at the Hamburg festival, which was part rock concert and part political
The California governor spoke by video, while Canadian Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau, Argentine President Mauricio Macri and Norwegian Prime
Minister Erna Solberg took to the stage in person.
The G-20 will meet Friday and Saturday in Hamburg to discuss trade,
climate, refugees and other issues.