California, China defy US climate retreat with new cleantech tie-up

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California Governor Jerry Brown and Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang attend a signing ceremony at the International Forum on Electric Vehicle Pilot Cities and Industrial Development in Beijing, China Tuesday. Thomas Peter, Reuters

BEIJING – California said it would cooperate with China on clean technology, emissions trading and other “climate-positive” opportunities as it bids to fill the gap left after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord last week.

The government of California and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology would work together on developing and commercializing know-how on carbon capture and storage, clean energy, as well as advanced information technology that could help cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to a Tuesday statement.

President Trump announced last week that he would pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, a move branded as “insane” by California governor Jerry Brown, who is visiting China this week.

The decision to withdraw was seen to have handed the political and diplomatic initiative to China, which has continued to pledge its unqualified support for the Paris accord.

Brown told reporters on the sidelines of a clean energy forum in Beijing on Tuesday that the failure of leadership from the United States was “only temporary” and said science and the market would be required to get past it.

In an earlier speech, Brown criticized those still “resisting reality”.

“The world is not doing enough,” he said. “We are on the road to a very negative and disastrous future unless we increase the tempo of change.”

Joint pledges by China and the United States ahead of the Paris talks helped create the momentum required to secure a global agreement, and included a promise by China to establish a nationwide emissions trading exchange by this year.

Brown told Reuters last week that he would discuss linking China’s carbon trading platforms with California’s, the biggest in the United States.



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