California Gov. Jerry Brown is talking like he is representing America at a glitzy United Nations environmental conference in Bonn, Germany.
The U.S. government is sending a small State Department delegation to the Conference of Partners (COP23) summit, despite the fact that President Trump has removed America from the Paris climate accord, the subject matter being discussed at COP 23.
That hasn’t stopped Brown from suggesting he represents the real America.
“Instead of doing nothing, we’re doing something — pending a new president or pending a conversion experience on the part of Donald Trump,” he told Germany’s Deutsche Welle.
Deriding Trump’s environmental policy as “like ‘Saturday Night Live,’ or a comedy program,” Brown suggested that the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord was just “red meat” for the Trump base: “They chew on it, and feel good, but they represent no more than 35 to 40 percent.”
Although Brown has been designated by the UN as an environmental “special envoy,” he has been delegated no special powers to negotiate on behalf of the U.S. government.
“First of all, it’s to say to the rest of the world that America is in — we’re in the Paris Accord. We have to keep the temperature below a 2-degree centigrade increase, and we’re going to do that not with the federal government, because the federal government is on holiday with respect to climate change,” Brown told Deutsche Welle.
Brown also derides any suggestion that the Paris accord will adversely affect the American job market. “That is one of the silly stories that we call a ‘Trumpism.’ Brown claims that California has found the green energy job solution even while it promises to “phase-down” oil production in the state.
“The truth of the matter is that California, with its strong renewable energy, its very far-reaching greenhouse gas reduction set of policies — our economy grows faster than the national average. So, I think that is very good proof that green energy, wind, solar, new electricity grid, battery storage, electric cars, hydrogen cars — all of these create new jobs, the jobs of the future,” he told Deutsche Welle.
Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to note that the U.S. is sending a delegation to Bonn for the conference.