SAN FRANCISCO – Rallying thousands of scientists at one of the largest international gatherings of its kind, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today called on the scientific community – the “truth-tellers” and “truth seekers” – to mobilize for the climate fight.
“The time has never been more urgent or your work never more important. The climate is changing, temperatures are rising, oceans are becoming more acidified, habitats are under stress – the world is facing tremendous danger,” said Governor Brown at the American Geophysical Union’s annual fall meeting in San Francisco. “It’ll be up to you as truth-tellers, truth seekers to mobilize all your efforts to fight back. We’ve got a lot of firepower. We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the universities, we have the national labs and we have the political clout and sophistication for the battle – and we will persevere. Have no doubt about that.”
“We will pursue a path of collaboration and bold political advancement – whatever they do in Washington – and eventually the truth will prevail,” Governor Brown continued. “This is not a battle of one day or one election. This is a long-term slog into the future and you are there, the foot soldiers of change and understanding and scientific collaboration.”
Governor Brown’s remarks follow yesterday’s action to prevent further coastal oil and gas drilling, reduce ocean acidity and boost renewable energy development in California. In recent weeks, Governor Brown issued a joint release with the governors of Oregon and Washington and the premier of British Columbia reaffirming their commitment to climate action at the close of COP22. The Governor also announced 29 new members to the Under2 Coalition, an international climate pact formed by California and Baden-Württemberg, Germany among cities, states and countries to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, the level of potentially catastrophic consequences. A total of 165 jurisdictions have now joined the coalition representing more than a billion people and $25.7 trillion in combined GDP – more than one-third of the global economy.
California’s Leadership on Climate Change
California is playing a world-leading role in setting aggressive climate goals, broadening collaboration among subnational leaders and taking action to reduce climate pollutants.
In September, California took bold action to advance its climate goals, establishing the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in North America and the nation’s toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants. The Governor also signed legislation that directs cap-and-trade funds to greenhouse gas reducing programs which benefit disadvantaged communities, support clean transportation and protect natural ecosystems.
This action builds on landmark legislation the Governor signed in October 2015 to generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings. Governor Brown has also committed to reducing today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent within the next 15 years; make heating fuels cleaner; and manage farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon.
Over the past year and a half, the Governor has traveled to the United Nations headquarters in New York, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, the Vatican in Italy 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 to broaden collaboration among subnational leaders build on a number of other international climate change agreements with leaders from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel, Peru and Chile and Governor Brown’s efforts to gather 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.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt in California and will disproportionately impact the state’s most vulnerable populations.
1.) Governor Brown addresses scientists at American Geophysical Union fall meeting.
2.) Governor Brown gives remarks at American Geophysical Union fall meeting.
Photo credit: Joe McHugh, California Highway Patrol. For high resolution copies of these images, contact Danella Debel at Danella.Debel@gov.ca.gov.