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Sacramento, CA—Governor Kate Brown, along with the governors of Washington and California, today announced that West Coast leaders will participate in the Climate Change Conference (COP 23) in Bonn, Germany, this November to represent subnational jurisdictions committed to climate action. The announcement was made at a ceremony recognizing Fiji as the latest government to join the Under2 Coalition and Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama as the incoming COP23 president.

“The ‘America First' doctrine should put our children first. Future generations will judge us not on the facts of global climate change, but what we've done to tackle it,” Governor Kate Brown said. “Strengthening the commitment to combat climate change sends a strong message to our global allies. The Paris Agreement is a blueprint from job creation and prosperity, and despite the decision by the White House to retreat, I will continue to work with leaders on the West Coast, across the country, and around the world in pursuit of greenhouse gas reduction goals and working toward the development of a greener, cleaner energy mix of the future."

The Under2 Coalition is an international pact among cities, states and countries committed to limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius – the level of potentially catastrophic consequences – by either reducing their greenhouse gas emissions from 80 percent to 95 percent below 1990 levels, or holding emissions to less than 2 annual metric tons per capita by 2050.

With the addition of Fiji, the coalition now includes 176 jurisdictions on six continents collectively representing more than 36 countries, 1.2 billion people and $28.8 trillion GDP - equivalent to more than 16 percent of the global population and more than 39 percent of the global economy.

“As the incoming President of COP23, Fiji looks forward to working with this group of states and regions in the global effort to advance climate action at every level of society,” said Prime Minister Bainimarama. "This is true now more than ever following the Trump Administration's announcement that the U.S. will be withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. This decision has redoubled our commitment to forge a Grand Coalition that includes all levels of government, businesses and civil society, to take climate action forward with the urgency it deserves. We look forward Governor Brown's help in mobilising like-minded leaders from around the world in support of our goal to achieve concrete outcomes at COP23.”

The coalition was formed in 2015 in the lead up to COP21 by the states of California and Baden-Württemberg, Germany to mobilize and galvanize bold climate action from like-minded city regional governments, cities, and states, including Oregon. While the majority of Under2 Coalition members represent subnational jurisdictions, with the addition Fiji, a total of 15 nations are part of the global pact, including Sweden, Mexico and Canada, which joined in April, and Denmark, which signed on earlier this month at a ceremony in Beijing. Eighteen U.S. jurisdictions have joined the coalition, representing nearly one-third of America's population and GDP.

At today's ceremony, Governor Kate Brown, California Governor Jerry Brown, and Washington Governor Inslee were the first U.S. state leaders to announce that they will participate in COP23 as part of a delegation of U.S. governors that have joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a partnership formed in response to the White House's decision to withdraw from the Paris accord. The alliance now includes 13 U.S. states – led by both Democrats and Republicans – committed to achieving the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan. The U.S. Climate Alliance complements the goals of the Under2 Coalition, which nine climate alliance members have also joined.



Chris Pair
Bryan Hockaday
Environment & Energy