Bonn, Germany - On his final day at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23), Special Advisor for States and Regions Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that the Under2 Coalition a pact of states, regions and countries committed to keeping the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius now includes 205 members in 43 countries, representing 1.3 billion people and $30 trillion in GDP.
"The announcement today is that we are over 200 strong and well over a billion people," said Governor Brown. "This is big, but it's not big enough – we have to have the whole world on board. This is the way the world will deal with this pollution where no one is in charge but everyone is responsible."
Today's event in the German Pavilion featured remarks from Germany's top environmental official, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety Barbara Hendricks, and included a signing ceremony with representatives from Chile; Wallonia, Belgium; Attica, Greece; Azuay and Pastaza in Ecuador; and Caquetá, Colombia. New members Armenia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Ararat, Shirak and Kotayk in Armenia; Colima and Querétaro in Mexico; Amazonas and Huánuco in Peru; and Santa Fe, Argentina also joined the Under2 Coalition today. Members of the coalition, formed in 2015 ahead of COP21, pledge to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 2 tons per capita or 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Earlier this week in Bonn, Germany, Virginia joined the Under2 Coalition at a signing ceremony with Governor Terry McAuliffe
Governor Brown also met with China’s Special Envoy on Climate Change Xie Zhenhua to discuss California’s cap-and-trade program – recently extended to 2030 – and China's work to establish a new national program. Prior to the meeting, the Governor delivered opening remarks at the China Pavilion, where he joined top officials from China, Canada, the European Union and the World Bank for a day-long symposium on carbon markets and pricing.
"Carbon pollution is a common threat that binds America and Europe and China and India and Africa – all the countries of the world," said Governor Brown. "If we rise to take on that common threat we will come closer together."
Today's event builds on previous exchanges with China's Special Envoy on Climate Change in Paris at COP21 and in Beijing earlier this year during the Governor's trip to China and meeting with President Xi.
Later, Governor Brown spoke about the importance of adopting zero-emission vehicles during a panel discussion with leaders from Norway, Canada and the Netherlands. The Governor continued the discussion in a meeting with State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands Stientje van Veldhoven.
Governor Brown also participated in an event hosted by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) focused on long-term climate and sustainability goals.