SEATTLE - Bolstering California and China's economic and environmental partnership, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today co-chaired the Third U.S.-China Governors Forum, met with President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China and announced the first Chinese province - Sichuan - to sign on to the Under 2 MOU climate agreement.
"We at the local level have the responsibility and the power and the opportunity to take very bold and creative initiatives. In order to really get at the threat of climate change, everyone has to do whatever they can," said Governor Brown during today's meeting with President Xi following the forum. "I don't want to underestimate the challenges. The world is not on track yet to deal with climate change. We have to make a turn. We have to make some very heroic decisions."
The forum included a bipartisan group of five U.S. governors - Governor Jerry Brown (D-California), Governor Rick Snyder (R-Michigan), Governor Terry Branstad (R-Iowa), Governor Kate Brown (D-Oregon) and Governor Jay Inslee (D-Washington) - and six Chinese officials - Sichuan Party Secretary Wang Dongming, Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun, Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan, Zhejiang Governor Li Qiang, Shandong Governor Guo Shuqing and Shaanxi Governor Lou Qinjian - and was organized by Madame Li Xiaolin, President of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
Following the forum, Governor Brown joined participants at a meeting with President Xi to discuss the day's events, and later, the Governor met privately with the President. The forum and meeting follow significant diplomatic and business exchanges between California and China since Governor Brown took office, including a Trade and Investment Mission to China and meetings between Governor Brown and President Xi during his visit to California as then-Vice President of China in February 2012 and again as President in June 2013.
Additionally, the Governor met with Sichuan Party Secretary Wang Dongming today and announced the first Chinese province to sign the Under 2 MOU - Sichuan.
The Under 2 MOU is an agreement amongst subnational jurisdictions around the world to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius - the warming threshold at which scientists say there will likely be catastrophic climate disruptions. With the addition of Sichuan, a total of 24 jurisdictions in 10 countries and five continents have signed or endorsed the Under 2 MOU, collectively representing more than $5.55 trillion in GDP and more than 228 million people. If the Under 2 MOU signatories were a single country, they would represent the third largest economy in the world behind only China and the United States.
This comes just one week after the U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit in Los Angeles, where Governor Brown announced the first cities - Zhenjiang in China and Los Angeles - to endorse the Under 2 MOU and the renewal of a landmark agreement between California and China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the first agreement between the NDRC and a subnational entity on climate change.
Governor Brown will announce additional global signatories to the Under 2 MOU later this week at a signing ceremony in New York City.
At today's forum, participants including Governor Brown also signed the U.S.-China Governors' Accord on Clean Energy & Economic Development. The agreement aims to advance the development and commercialization of clean energy innovation and encourages signatories to adopt measures to promote energy efficiency in buildings and industries, modernize the electrical grid infrastructure, reduce transportation emissions, promote technologies and approaches to enhance air quality and strengthen trade and investment activity that supports the commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and clean technologies.