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China and California Sign Renewables Deal, Bypassing Trump's Climate Failure

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California Gov. Jerry Brown and President Xi Jinping. Aaron Berkovich

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a nonbinding agreement with China Tuesday to cooperate on renewable energy technology, including zero-emissions vehicles and lower greenhouse gas emissions. In an unusual formal meeting between a Chinese president and an American governor, Brown and President Xi Jinping discussed "the importance of expanding cooperation of green technology, innovation and trade," according to the governor's office.


"Nobody can stay on the sidelines. We can't afford any dropouts in the tremendous human challenge to make the transition to a sustainable future," Brown told reporters in Beijing. "Disaster still looms and we've got to make the turn."

Brown signed similar agreements with the leaders of Sichuan and Jiangsu provinces earlier this week, and headlined the Under2 Clean Energy Forum Wednesday in Beijing.

Brown told the Associated Press that Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement will eventually prove to be a temporary setback, and China, European countries and individual U.S. states will fill the leadership void left by the federal government.

According to the Associated Press:

"Without mentioning Trump by name, Brown told attendees at a forum on electric vehicles that "there are still people in powerful places who are resisting reality."

Later, when asked by the AP what could prompt the U.S. to return to the forefront of climate change efforts, Brown replied, 'Science, facts, the world, the marketplace.'"

For a deeper dive:

New York Times, The Guardian, AP, Bloomberg, LA Times, Reuters, Mother Jones, The Hill, Mashable, UPI, Quartz

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