By Chris Jennewein
Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
June 1, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - California Gov. Jerry Brown vowed Thursday the state would continue its fight against climate change despite President Trump’s “misguided and insane” decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement.
“Donald Trump has absolutely chosen the wrong course. He’s wrong on the facts. America’s economy is boosted by following the Paris Agreement. He’s wrong on the science. Totally wrong,” Brown said in a statement.
“California will resist this misguided and insane course of action. Trump is AWOL but California is on the field, ready for battle.”
Calling the Paris accord “a bad deal for Americans,” Trump set in motion a withdrawal by 2020 unless the agreement can be renegotiated. The United States will join Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations not participating in the agreement.
“We don’t want other countries and other leaders to laugh at us anymore,” said Trump in announcing his decision.
Brown has pointed out that California’s giant economy — sixth largest in the world if it were a separate country — will allow it to have an impact separate from the rest of the United States in fighting climate change.
The Golden State’s ambitious climate action program includes joining the Under2 Coalition, an international pact among cities, states and countries to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius.
Within hours of Trump’s announcement, California joined the states of New York and Washington in forming the United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that will convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change.
At the local level, the mayors of 14 California cities — including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose — announced their commitment to the Paris agreement’s goals.
In San Diego, Democratic Rep. Scott Peters quickly condemned Trump’s decision to pull out of the agreement.
“We owe it to our children and our grandchildren to leave them with a planet that is clean and habitable,” said Peters. “America should lead these efforts, not leave this efforts.”
He said China will be the ultimate beneficiary of America’s withdrawal. “China’s not fooled. They’re closing coal plants and investing in clean energy,” he said.