New York - After speaking at the United Nations and convening global leaders to sign the Under 2 MOU climate agreement yesterday in New York, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today continued discussions on climate change with heads of state from South America and Europe, including Chile's President Michelle Bachelet, Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Hungary's President János Áder.
The Governor's meetings come as world leaders travel to New York for the 70th regular session of the United Nations General Assembly.
At the meeting with President Bachelet, the leaders signed a joint declaration between Chile and California on climate change, agreeing to collaborate on issues of mutual concern including ocean and forest protection, carbon markets, climate adaptation, water and waste management, and air quality.
The text of the agreement signed today can be found here.
Governor Brown will meet with Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Hungary's President János Áder later today.
Yesterday, Governor Brown hosted a ceremony in New York to welcome 14 new signatories, including New York City and Italy - one of three founding endorsing nations - to the Under 2 MOU climate agreement.
With the addition of the 14 new signatories, a total of 38 jurisdictions representing 17 countries and five continents have signed or endorsed the Under 2 MOU, collectively representing more than $8.7 trillion in GDP and more than 313 million people. If the Under 2 MOU signatories represented a single country, it would be the third largest economy in the world behind only China and the United States.
The Under 2 MOU is an agreement amongst cities, states - and now countries - around the world 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.
Yesterday's signing ceremony followed keynote remarks from Governor Brown at an event hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition on short-lived climate pollutants. Short-lived climate pollutants include methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) - compounds that have a more potent heat-trapping effect but remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter period of time than carbon dioxide. Reducing these pollutants can have a more immediate beneficial impact on climate change.
In his remarks, Governor Brown outlined goals for cutting methane and HFC emissions in California by 40 percent below current levels by 2030 and black carbon by 50 percent below current levels by 2030.
These goals align with scientific assessments of what is needed globally to limit warming below 2 degrees Celsius. The California Air Resources Board will release a draft strategy next week and host a workshop in October to gather public input. A final proposed strategy will be presented to the board later this year.
In addition to action on the Under 2 MOU, the Governor traveled to the Vatican in Italy and the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto, Canada in July to call on the world's cities, states and provinces to join California in the fight against climate change. These efforts build on other international climate change pacts with leaders from Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel and Peru.Governor Brown also helped convene hundreds of world-renowned researchers and scientists to issue a groundbreaking call to action - called the consensus statement - which translates key scientific climate findings from disparate fields into one unified document.
Earlier this year, Governor Brown issued an executive order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 - the most ambitious target in North America and consistent with California's existing commitment to reduce emissions 80 percent under 1990 levels by 2050.
In his inaugural address this year, Governor Brown announced that within the next 15 years, California will increase from one-third to 50 percent the electricity derived from renewable sources; reduce today's petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent; double the efficiency savings from existing buildings and 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. The impacts of climate change are already being felt in California and will disproportionately impact the state's most vulnerable populations.