by Katy Murphy: California leader announces global 2018 summit in San Francisco on environmental action…
California’s hard-charging green governor is shaking things up once again on the world stage.
As President Donald Trump and other world leaders gathered in Hamburg, Germany, for the G20 summit, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday made waves by telling the world that Trump — who has decided to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris climate accord — does not speak for most Americans when it comes to dealing with environmental concerns.
Then Brown announced that California would host a global summit on climate change in San Francisco in September.
“Yes, I know President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris Agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America,” Brown said in a video message shown to tens of thousands at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg. “We in California and in states all across America believe it’s time to act. It’s time to join together, and that’s why at this Climate Action Summit we’re going to get it done.”
The governor’s latest action on climate change is arguably his most politically aggressive yet — and immediately drew high praise and howls of criticism.
“It’s brazen on several levels,” from “stepping on the president’s trip” to “thinking he speaks for the American people,” said Bill Whalen, a longtime GOP strategist who is now a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. The San Francisco summit is not likely to accomplish much, Whalen said, besides gathering people to “collectively thumb their nose at the American president.”
“To what end will this conference change anything other than pumping more carbon in the atmosphere as people fly from all over the world to get here?” Whalen asked. “It’s not going to change climate change policy in America, and it’s not going to change Donald Trump’s mind.”
Brown has vowed to place California, along with its jumbo-sized, world-class economy, at the vanguard of governments trying to meet global warming head on. Last December, Brown said the Golden State would put up “its own damn satellites” if Trump cuts funding for projects that gather climate data from space.
And on Thursday the governor once again threw down the gauntlet. He invited “entrepreneurs, singers, musicians, mathematicians, professors” and others who represent “the whole world” to the summit.