New York - As millions of people around the globe celebrate Earth Day and renew their commitment to protecting the planet, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. will join dozens of world leaders on Friday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to participate in events marking the first day that the Paris Agreement is open for signature.
"While national governments came together to reach a historic climate agreement in Paris last December, it's up to the world's states, regions and cities to make it a reality in the years ahead," said Governor Brown. "The task before us is daunting, but California will continue to lead the charge."
At the United Nations Headquarters, Governor Brown will attend a luncheon with France's President François Hollande, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and other government, climate, business and civil society leaders. He will then participate in a panel discussion moderated by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and COP21 President Ségolène Royal on the work being done to ensure the Paris Agreement is fully and effectively implemented.
United Nations Paris Agreement Signing Ceremony Luncheon
When: Friday, April 22, 2016 at approx. 1:15 p.m. EDT (10:15 a.m. PDT)
Where: United Nations Headquarters, The Delegates Dining Room, 760 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017
United Nations Panel - Taking Climate Action to the Next Level: Realizing the Vision of the Paris Agreement
When: Friday, April 22, 2016 at approx. 3:00 p.m. EDT (12:00 p.m. PDT)
Where: United Nations Headquarters, Conference Room 1, 760 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017
**NOTE: Additional details on the day's events and media credentialing information can be found here. The events will be streamed live here.
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 among subnational leaders.
These efforts include spearheading the Under 2 MOU, a global climate pact among cities, states and countries to limit the increase in the world's average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius. A total of 128 jurisdictions representing 28 countries and six continents have now signed or endorsed the agreement. Together, they represent more than 740 million people and $20.7 trillion in GDP, equivalent to more than a quarter of the global economy. Signatories commit to either reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 or achieving a per capita annual emission target of less than 2 metric tons by 2050.
Last year, the Governor traveled to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, the Vatican in Italy, the United Nations in New York and the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto, Canada to call on other leaders to join California in the fight against climate change.
Governor Brown also 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 the Netherlands, 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.
Last October, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation - SB 350 - to double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings and generate half of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Governor Brown also 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.
Additionally, the Governor issued an executive order last year 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.