California to seek its own climate change deal with China after Donald Trump ditches Paris Agreement

The state's governor, Jerry Brown, has also suggested it could launch its own satellites to monitor climate change

Ian Johnston
Environment Correspondent
Friday 02 June 2017 10:44 BST
Brown cimentó su carrera política en torno al cambio climático y sus efectos en el mundo
Brown cimentó su carrera política en torno al cambio climático y sus efectos en el mundo (Getty)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


California is to seek its own “international” agreement on climate change with China, the state’s governor has suggested.

Jerry Brown, who previously signalled the west coast state was “ready to fight” Donald Trump over the issue, said he would discuss merging China’s and California’s carbon trading markets on a visit to Beijing.

Carbon trading, also known as cap-and-trade, is seen as an important mechanism for driving down greenhouse gas emissions and California’s market is already linked to the one in Quebec, Canada.

Essentially large sources of carbon are given a cap on emissions, beyond which they cannot go unless they buy an allowance. The allowances are sold by companies that reduce emissions below their cap, creating a double incentive to make cuts.

China plans to create a national carbon trading market this year, although the project has hit some problems.

Mr Brown said he hoped to be able to link the Californian and Chinese schemes at some point.

“I think that is a heavy lift to include Chinese provinces, but we are definitely taking that possibility very seriously,” he said.

“We want to make sure it has full integrity and know exactly what’s going on. And we can’t say that today.

“Maybe we don’t put it right in the same cap-and-trade regime, maybe some parallel regime. I am going to discuss that with the highest officials in China this week.”

He also described Mr Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement in typically forthright terms: “insane”.

Speaking after the Republican billionaire’s election, Mr Brown said California might even launch its own satellites to monitor the Earth’s climate if Mr Trump decided to scrap the Nasa programme.

He also warned his administration would fight the national one because denial of climate change was “at odds with the survivability of our world”.

But Mr Brown also sounded a hopeful note that Mr Trump’s election might just spur the rest of the world into greater action, in a similar way to a heart attack prompting someone to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in