Paris, France - California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today kicked off the first of five days at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, participating in the UNFCCC COP21’s official “Action Day” event and a panel with Oscar-winning director Charles Ferguson and world-renowned primatologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall following a screening of the new climate change documentary, “Time to Choose.”
“We’ve got a long way to go to deal with climate change – a lot of inertia, a lot of complacency – and we need the energy from the grassroots and the states,” said Governor Brown in remarks at the UNFCCC COP21 Action Day event. “Political will is not yet fully mobilized and our Under 2 MOU is enlisting subnational regions and provinces to actually lower the carbon footprint and also serve as a catalyst to get our nation states moving more than they are doing today.”
Action Day, organized by the UNFCCC in the “blue zone” of Le Bourget Conference Center, where official negotiations are being held, highlighted commitments and initiatives from the world’s top climate leaders, including “non-state” actors like California. Governor Brown gave remarks during a session focused on local authorities’ engagement, which also featured Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo; former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau; Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon and Global Local Forum President and former President of the Fatick Region, Senegal Abdoulaye Sene.
Later on Saturday, Governor Brown participated in a panel following a screening of the new climate change documentary “Time to Choose,” which highlights California’s climate leadership.
Governor Brown gives remarks at UNFCCC COP21 Action Day event.
Governor Brown meets with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
Governor Brown discusses California's climate leadership with Dr. Jane Goodall (right) and “Time to Choose” climate documentary director Charles Ferguson (far right) and producer Jeff Horowitz (left.)
Throughout the week, the Governor will keynote a number of high-profile events in Le Bourget and throughout Paris organized by the French, U.S., German and Chinese governments, UNFCCC, the European Commission, the World Bank, UN Foundation, Climate Group, International New York Times, École Normale Supérieure (ENS) and many others.
The Governor is also convening events in Paris with governors from around the world to highlight regional efforts to reduce emissions and top California CEOs and business leaders to discuss the private sector’s commitment to bold climate solutions. Renewable energy, zero emission vehicles, short-lived climate pollutants, responsible forest and land management and the low carbon economy will be among the many other topics discussed by the Governor during the COP21. Governor Brown is also expected to participate in a number of bilateral meetings with world leaders throughout the week.
Governor Brown is attending the UN Climate Change Conference at the invitation of UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres – the United Nations’ top climate change official – and France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius – the president of the COP21.
The remaining four days of the Governor’s itinerary can be found below:
Sunday, December 6, 2015
RE-Energizing the Future Conference: Governments Leading the Way Towards a Renewable World
Governor Brown will discuss California's nation-leading action on renewable energy during a session focused on global clean energy leadership. African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim; Morocco's Minister of Energy Dr. Abdelkader Amara; Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore and others are expected to participate in the session. The conference is organized by the European Commission; International Renewable Energy Agency; Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century; Syndicate for Renewable Energy of France; and others.
When: Sunday, December 6, 2015 at approx. 10:15 a.m. CET
State of California and U.S. Embassy – Under 2 MOU Climate Agreement Signing Ceremony
Governor Brown and U.S. Ambassador to France Jane D. Hartley will host a signing ceremony for new signatories to the Under 2 MOU climate agreement. The Under 2 MOU is a global pact, spearheaded by the state of California and the German state of Baden-Württemberg, amongst states, provinces, regions, cities, and even countries, 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.
When: Sunday, December 6, 2015 at approx. 12:00 p.m. CET
2015 Global Landscapes Forum High-Level Plenary: Science Policy Exchange
Governor Brown will deliver keynote remarks at the conclusion of a plenary session featuring international scientists and government leaders focused on bridging the divide between climate research and policy making - a longstanding priority in California. Organizers of the Global Landscapes Forum, which is expected to be one of the COP21's largest "side events," include the French government; Center for International Forestry Research; UNEP; the World Bank; and others.
When: Sunday, December 6, 2015 at approx. 3:30 p.m. CET
Monday, December 7, 2015
The Climate Group – States and Regions Alliance Media Briefing
Governor Brown will participate in a media briefing ahead of the States and Regions Alliance General Assembly, to highlight state and regional climate leadership and discuss action following the COP21, including efforts to expand the mutually complimentary Under 2 MOU and Compact of States and Regions. The General Assembly is an annual meeting of members organized by the Climate Group and dozens of premiers, governors and ministers are expected to participate, including Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard; Basque Country President Iñigo Urkullu; South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill; and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
When: Monday, December 7, 2015 at approx. 8:30 a.m. CET
United Nations Foundation – Earth to Paris Summit: California Climate Dialogue
Governor Brown will join NextGen Climate founder and president Tom Steyer for a wide-ranging discussion on government and business efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The two-day Earth to Paris Summit, organized by the United Nations Foundation, will feature a diverse lineup of experts, advocates, CEOs and other leaders committed to creative and impactful solutions to climate change.
When: Monday, December 7, 2015 at approx. 11:00 a.m. CET
French Republic – U.S. State Leadership on Climate Change Event
At the invitation of France's Ambassador to the U.S. Gérard Araud, Governor Brown will deliver keynote remarks at an event in the blue zone organized by the French government to highlight aggressive climate action amongst American states. France's Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Ségolène Royal, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and other American subnational leaders are expected to participate.
When: Monday, December 7, 2015 at approx. 12:30 p.m. CET
China's National Development and Reform Commission – China-California Low Carbon and Climate Change Cooperation Event
Governor Brown and China's Special Envoy on Climate Change Xie Zhenhua will give remarks at an event in the blue zone organized by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) highlighting California and China's collaboration on air pollution mitigation, emissions trading and clean technology. Earlier this year, Governor Brown met with President Xi Jinping to discuss climate change and renewed an agreement first signed in 2013 with then-NDRC Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua - representing the first agreement between the NDRC and a subnational entity on climate change.
When: Monday, December 7, 2015 at approx. 2:00 p.m. CET
UNFCCC – Climate Action Dialogues: Subnationals Leading the Way
Governor Brown will join mayors and governors around the world to speak at an event in the blue zone - organized by the UNFCCC in conjunction with the Pacific Coast Collaborative, Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force - highlighting cities and states like California that are adopting ambitious emission reduction targets, while at the same time creating economic opportunity. The governors of Acre, Brazil; Jalisco, Mexico; Washington, U.S.A; Cross River State, Nigeria; Ucayali, Peru; the premier of British Columbia and the mayors of Rio de Janeiro; Vancouver; and Oakland are expected to participate.
When: Monday, December 7, 2015 at approx. 3:00 p.m. CET
United Nations Foundation – Earth to Paris Summit: California Businesses for Climate Action Roundtable
Governor Brown and NextGen Climate founder and president Tom Steyer will convene a roundtable with top California energy, health care and finance CEOs and business leaders to discuss private sector action on climate. The two-day Earth to Paris Summit, organized by the United Nations Foundation, will feature a diverse lineup of experts, advocates, CEOs and other leaders committed to creative and impactful solutions to climate change.
When: Monday, December 7, 2015 at approx. 5:00 p.m. CET
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
UNFCCC – Focus on Cities and Subnationals: Cities and Regions' Leadership in Climate Action
Following scheduled remarks from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, Governor Brown will speak on a panel with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall and other subnational leaders to draw attention to local actors, like California, tackling climate change and mobilizing others to join the fight. This panel is part of a week of Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) events organized by the UNFCCC and the French and Peruvian governments to highlight the most emblematic international climate initiatives and commitments on forests, agriculture, resilience, transport, building, private finance, short-lived climate pollutants, energy, business and innovation.
When: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at approx. 10:50 a.m. CET
U.S. Department of Energy – The Clean Energy Ministerial Implementation and Increasing Ambition Beyond Paris
Governor Brown will join U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz at an event organized by the U.S. Department of Energy in the blue zone to make a major announcement regarding the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) - a global meeting of representatives from two dozen major economies and countries that account for approximately 90 percent of clean energy investments and 75 percent of greenhouse gas emissions - to be hosted by the United States in the spring of 2016. Following remarks from Secretary Moniz and Governor Brown, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources; Sweden's Minister of the Environment and Energy; Denmark's Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate and others will participate in a panel discussion regarding efforts to implement and accelerate clean energy policies and programs after Paris.
When: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at approx. 11:15 a.m. CET
High-Level Event on Zero Emission Vehicles
Governor Brown will give remarks at an event in the blue zone with U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, auto manufacturers, energy leaders and local and national government officials, highlighting the global commitment of businesses, organizations and governments, like California, to deploy and advance zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure. This event is organized by a broad coalition of international groups, including the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance (ZEV Alliance), Clean Energy Ministerial's Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI), Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC), Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI), European Association for Electromobility (AVERE), Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Netherlands, UN Environment Program, UN Habitat and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group Low Emission Vehicle Network.
When: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at approx. 1:30 p.m. CET
Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants – High-Level Assembly: Action on Climate and Clean Air 2016-2020
Governor Brown will deliver keynote remarks regarding California's push to dramatically reduce short-lived climate pollutants at the opening of a high-level assembly of more than two dozen environment ministers from countries around the world organized by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition in the blue zone. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and France's Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Ségolène Royal are also expected to give opening remarks.
When: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at approx. 3:00 p.m. CET
Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force – Subnational Innovation for Climate and Forests
Governor Brown will give remarks at an event organized by the Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force in conjunction with the Earth Innovation Institute, the Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, Forest Trends, USAID and others to highlight innovative subnational action to reduce deforestation and promote low-emission land use and rural development.
When: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at approx. 7:00 p.m. CET
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
International New York Times – Energy for Tomorrow Conference: The Road from Paris: Public Sector Perspectives
Governor Brown will participate in a moderated discussion on what to expect beyond Paris with U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Secretary-General Angel Gurría. The two-day Energy for Tomorrow Conference, organized by the International New York Times, brings together powerful CEOs, influential policy-makers, energy entrepreneurs and leading academics to uncover the technologies, strategies and investments that will drive success in the new low carbon economy.
When: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at approx. 12:15 p.m. CET
Federal Republic of Germany – Under 2 MOU Climate Agreement Signing Ceremony
Governor Brown will speak at the week's second Under 2 MOU climate agreement signing ceremony hosted in the blue zone by the German government and the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The Under 2 MOU is a global pact, spearheaded by the state of California and the German state of Baden-Württemberg, amongst states, provinces, regions, cities, and even countries, 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.
When: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at approx. 2:00 p.m. CET
State of California and U.S. State Department – California Climate Leaders Forum
Governor Brown will convene the Golden State's top government, business and civil society climate leaders to discuss the state's bold leadership to reduce emissions and next steps after the COP21 at the only state-focused forum of its kind at the U.S. Center in the blue zone.
When: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at approx. 5:45 p.m. CET
École Normale Supérieure (ENS) – Climate Lecture
Governor Brown will deliver a guest lecture at École Normale Supérieure (ENS), France's preeminent graduate institution of higher learning and research.
When: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at approx. 7:00 p.m. CET
All events, times and locations are subject to change. Carbon offsets were purchased for the Governor's air travel.
California's Leadership on Climate Change
While California emits around 1 percent of the world's greenhouse gases, the state is playing a leading role in broadening collaboration amongst subnational leaders, spearheading a global pact amongst cities, states and countries, called the Under 2 MOU. This climate agreement aims 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 and a focal point of the conference in Paris. To date, 65 jurisdictions from 20 countries and five continents have signed or endorsed the Under 2 MOU, collectively representing nearly 600 million people and a combined GDP larger than that of the United States, the world's largest economy.
In recent months the Governor has traveled to the United Nations in New York, the Vatican in Italy and the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto, Canada to call on others leaders to join California in the fight against climate change. Governor Brown also recently 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 build on a number of other international climate change agreements with leaders from Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel, Peru and Chile and Governor Brown's efforts to convene 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.
In October, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation - SB 350 - that codified the goals he laid out in his January 2015 inaugural address to double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings and generate half of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In the same remarks, Governor Brown committed to reduce today's petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent within the next 15 years; 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.
Earlier this year, the Governor 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.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt in California and will disproportionately impact the state's most vulnerable populations.
Photo Credit: Stéphane Lemouton