California Gov. Jerry Brown excoriated the Trump administration’s “behavior” at the United Nations climate summit in Poland, arguing it did “not represent the people of the United States.”
“The United States, I’m sorry to say, does not represent the people of the United States,” Brown said in a video address to U.N. delegates gathered in Katowice for the summit, called COP24.
“California, Washington, New York, Vermont and many, many other states representing tens of millions of people, believe in the science of climate change, believe and demand we reduce our carbon emissions,” the Democrat said.
Brown was reacting to news the U.S. joined with Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait in blocking the conference from “welcoming” a U.N. report on limiting future global to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100 — a report called for in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
President Donald Trump promised to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord in 2020. Brown is one of Trump’s staunchest critics when it comes to the planned Paris withdrawal.
— Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) December 14, 2018
“We recognize the science under-girding the knowledge we have today on climate change. If we’re going to stay below 1.5 degrees Centigrade from the industrial period we have to take action now,” Brown said.
“The actions and the behavior of the leaders of the United States and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and Russia and other countries are not acceptable,” Brown added. “This is a suicide mission upon which you have embarked. Pull back.”
However, the U.N. report Brown refers to estimates $122 trillion would be needed just to fund the new green energy infrastructure needed to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report, released in October, also says carbon taxes needed to meet that temperature goal would be as high as $27,000 per ton, or a $240 tax on a gallon of gasoline.
Thousands of U.N. delegates, government officials and environmentalists gathered for the two-week climate summit in the heart of Poland’s coal country at the beginning of December. So far, the conference has been bogged down by the usual disputes of how what countries hand money to poor nations to adapt to global warming.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a desperate plea for countries to agree on key details of the Paris accord, which the Obama administration signed onto in 2016. However, emissions are expected to rise another 3 percent this year, despite the Paris accord going into effect.
“People are dying because of climate change. In fires, in mudslides, in floods, in other parts of the country,” Brown said in his video address. “This is serious stuff. You represent humanity. Over 7 billion people are counting on you.”
“Don’t resort to what will be condemned in future years as nothing less than a criminal enterprise. Wake up!” Brown said.
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