On to Bonn: West Coast states accept invitation to 2017 U.N. climate convention in Germany

Inslee says vacuum of international leadership left by President Trump “is going to be filled by governors across the United States”

Gov. Jay Inslee yesterday joined with California Gov. Jerry Brown and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to welcome Fiji Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama in signing the international Under2 Coalition. The governor’s then accepted Bainimarama’s invitation for states to participate in COP23 where world leaders will gather this November at the U.N. Convention on Climate Change to discuss implementation of the historic Paris climate agreement in 2015.

Fiji Prime Minister Bainamarama signs the Under2 MOU

Bainimarama, who also serves as president of COP23, extended an invitation to the newly formed United States Climate Alliance to send a delegation of states to the upcoming convention in Bonn, Germany. States and other sub-national governments are not able to formally enter into the Paris agreement. Inslee said that in the wake of President Trump’s announcement that the United States is withdrawing from the agreement, Bainimarama’s invitation is an opportunity for governors to pick up the mantle of climate leadership and demonstrate that the country will continue to do its part.

(Photo Credit: Office of Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon)

“The vacuum that has been created in international leadership by the total failure of Donald Trump to follow our tradition of international leadership is going to be filled by governors across the United States,” Inslee said. “We have 12 states and one territory in our alliance already. We intend to be a vocal messenger of hope and inspiration to the rest of the world, at Bonn.”

Inslee, Jerry Brown and Kate Brown talked about the efforts underway in each of their states to curb greenhouse gas emissions through initiatives such as renewable energy and grid modernization, electrification of transportation infrastructure, energy efficiency and policies to price or cap carbon emissions. Inslee has pursued several policies to grow Washington’s clean energy economy, curb carbon emissions, promote electric vehicles, and more.

“The Pacific Coast Collaborative and Under2 MOU are terrific examples of collaboration and reflect the shared goals of subnational jurisdictions,” Kate Brown said. “Strengthening the commitment to combat climate change with additional partners such as the recently formed governors Climate Alliance sends a very strong message to our global allies. Despite the decision by our White House to retreat, we, as Oregonians and as Americans, will move forward to fulfill the goals of the Paris agreement. The Paris agreement is a blueprint for job creation, stability and global prosperity.”

Fiji Prime Minister Bainimarama meets with Govs. Jay Inslee, Kate Brown and Jerry Brown (Official Governor’s Office photo)

“There’s one thing we have learned over the last two weeks, that for every action there is a reaction,” Bainimarama said. “People of all walks of life from across America have spoken very loudly to tell the world that America will continue to tackle climate change, continue the clean energy revolution, continue to create jobs, and grow this economy so that we can thrive in the 21st century. This message has been warmly received, and as the incoming president of COP 23, it gives me hope and enthusiasm for what we can achieve together.”

(Photo Credit: Office of California Gov. Jerry Brown)

“What I think is most important is that so many states and regions and provinces are working together,” Jerry Brown said. “And in a time our country is divided and the world is very divided, this is a common threat. And therefore a common theme is to mobilize against the ravages of our changing climate.”

Also in attendance at the meeting in Sacramento were California State Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

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