Don’t cheer China’s climate progress until it’s for real

America’s abandonment of global leadership during the Trump administration does not mean that Americans are ready to give up the fight for a safe and peaceful future. In fact, President Trump’s retreat from challenges to the global commons brings more attention to Gov. Jerry Brown’s efforts to act on climate change.

 California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to journalists on board a high speed rail leaving from the Beijing South train station during his last trip to China in 2013. Ng Han Guan ASSOCIATED PRESS

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to journalists on board a high speed rail leaving from the Beijing South train station during his last trip to China in 2013. Ng Han Guan ASSOCIATED PRESS

Brown’s upcoming visit to Beijing will focus on keeping up the COP21 Paris accords momentum Trump wants to radically reverse. California’s aggressive stance on pollution controls and environmental standards will be highlighted. The governor wants to make a lasting difference in the world.

Some are critical of a state’s role in concluding agreements with sovereign nations like China, arguing that only the federal government has the right to enter accords. But Trump’s climate change denial and waning global influence creates an international opening for California to assert both its power and promise.  READ MORE