CA Signs Multinational Climate-Change Pact

     SACRAMENTO (CN) – California Gov. Jerry Brown joined a delegation of domestic and foreign leaders on Tuesday to sign a non-binding pact aimed at drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
     Brown hosted 11 leaders at the Leland Stanford Mansion blocks away from the statehouse and introduced an agreement called “Under 2 MOU,” which commits the signatories to reducing greenhouse emissions 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
     Largely symbolic as only the federal government can sign treaties with other nations, the agreement furthers California’s commitment to leading climate change policy in the United States.
     “This global challenge requires bold action on the part of governments everywhere,” Brown said. “It’s time to be decisive. It’s time to act.”
     In April, he issued an executive order directing California to “address an ever-growing threat” caused by climate change and cut emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
     During his inauguration speech in January, Brown reiterated the importance of climate-change initiatives to his political legacy and said the state will receive 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
     As California continues to search for ways to combat its historic drought, Brown has jumped at the opportunity to campaign for climate-change legislation. From executive orders, national television interviews and global pacts, Brown admits he’s setting the bar high on clean energy “for this generation and generations to come.”
     California signed the agreement along with Oregon, Washington, Vermont and nations including Brazil, Canada and the United Kingdom. The climate-change policy aims to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius – the warming threshold scientists say could create irreversible climate disruptions.
     The memorandum outlines measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions for each territory and encourages cooperation in sharing technology. The pact also commits the domestic and foreign leaders to recruiting more participants before the United Nations climate meetings in December.
     Brown has announced he will attend the climate meetings in Paris and speak on behalf of the nations that have signed the agreement. According to Brown, the combined economies of the 12 signatories would equal the fourth-largest economy in terms of gross domestic product and spans three continents.
     “There is no greater challenge than climate change,” said Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin in a statement. “From disastrous flooding in Vermont to devastating drought in California, we are already seeing the disruptive effects of changing weather on our lands, in our communities, and on our economy.”

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