California and Germany expand cooperation for climate action
Against the backdrop of the US president’s announcement to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Germany and California intensify their cooperation on climate action. Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and Governor of California Edmund G. Brown announced this after a bilateral meeting in San Francisco. At this meeting, Minister Hendricks and Governor Brown declared their support for the global "Under 2 Coalition". California and the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg established this coalition to improve networking between subnational stakeholders and to enable them to implement the goals of the Paris Agreement at local and regional level.
Minister Hendricks remarked: "We cannot reach the climate targets without the commitment of local authorities and regions. This becomes all the more obvious after the US administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Therefore, initiatives like the "Under 2 Coalition" are strong allies in our ambitious fight against climate change. It illustrates how widespread and alive the movement for climate action is in the US and in other parts of the world. We highly appreciate that ample space will be given to cities, communities and regions at the upcoming Climate Change Conference in Bonn."
Governor Brown commented: "The Under 2 Coalition is a pact among cities, states and countries withstanding the climate change denial and undertaking measures against hazardous carbon emissions. California and Germany unite the world leaders in combatting climate change – the existential threat of our time."
Following the inauguration of President Trump, a number of alliances were formed by local authorities, businesses, associations, the scientific community and educational institutes. Among them is the international "Under 2 Coalition" which unites cities, regional governments and several US states. Their commitment to climate action will be discussed by Minister Hendricks and Governor Brown.
The "Under 2 Coalition" resulted from a partnership between California and Baden-Württemberg. The aim is to bring together cities, regions and other subnational stakeholders committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions so they can participate in finding viable solutions and contributions to the results of COP21 in Paris. To date, 175 jurisdictions, representing 35 countries on 6 continents, have signed or endorsed the "Under 2 Coalition". Among them are the federal Länder Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia.
Subsequent to President Trump’s withdrawal, the US alliance #WeAreStillIn also emerged, uniting cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco and including businesses and scientific institutions. Furthermore, yesterday the government of Hawaii emphasised the significance of the Paris Agreement and reaffirmed that it will continue to align its policy with it.
Following her participation in the UN Ocean Conference in New York, Minister Hendricks met with Governor Brown at the American West Coast after she had to postpone a previous encounter. Shortly before, Governor Brown also signed a climate deal with China. California is one of the leading US states in combatting climate change.