Paris, France - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., representing the United States – and states and regions leading on climate across the globe – joined the President of France, the United Nations Secretary-General, the World Bank President and other heads of state at the One Planet Summit today, the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement.
"We can't wait for the White House to wake up," said Governor Brown in keynote remarks on the acceleration of local and regional climate action. "We in America are operating from the grassroots – from the cities, from the states, from corporate leaders, from universities and from civil society."
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Bloomberg also joined Governor Brown at the Summit, reaffirming America's steadfast commitment to climate action, which France's President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged in his opening remarks: "We have Mike Bloomberg, we have Governor Brown of California, they've said they're going to stand in place of the American federal government – 'states, cities, private sector players, we're going to play a role ourselves.'"
Pointing to the state's nearly year-round fire season – and the blazes still raging in Southern California – the Governor also sounded the alarm on the costly and destructive global impacts ahead unless we rapidly decarbonize.
"These fires, combined with the ones from just a few weeks ago in Northern California, add up to thousands of homes being burned and even people being killed because the fires move so fast," said Governor Brown. "This is an example of what we can expect in the very near future."
The Governor also discussed California's upcoming Global Climate Action Summit – which will convene representatives from subnational governments, businesses, investors and civil society in San Francisco next year with the direct goal of supporting the Paris Agreement – and the growing role of non-state actors with Michael Bloomberg and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.
Earlier in the day, Governor Brown met with the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands Hilda C. Heine on the impacts of climate change to island nations. At the invitation of the Governor, President Heine confirmed she will attend the Global Climate Action Summit in 2018, and committed to working with the Governor to drive stronger climate commitment and action by national governments.