Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a trip next month to China, the world’s largest polluting country, to discuss climate change with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, Politico reported on Wednesday.
Newsom said it was “imperative” that the U.S.-China climate relationship continues to grow, and touted California’s international diplomacy as setting the pace for other states, during an interview with Politico on Wednesday. Newsom’s trip follows in the footsteps of his predecessors, including former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, in his attempt to strengthen the U.S.’ climate bond with China.
“The imperative of maintaining a relationship on climate with China is about the fate and future of this planet,” Newsom said to Politico. “It’s too important – it’s another example where California needs to lead.”
“We’re doing subnational work in the absence of any other leadership,” Newsom said.
Newsom’s trip echoes that of Brown’s international climate work as governor, who obtained the signature of hundreds of international officials for his 2015 pledge to keep temperatures from rising, according to Politico. During his tenure, Brown also supported a global climate agenda penned by the United Nations that would cost $122 trillion to keep temperatures increases below 1.5 Celsius.
California is pushing to ban all gas-powered vehicles by 2035 in favor of electric vehicles (EV) and punishing automakers who don’t meet the state’s strict electric requirements. The Biden administration has pushed one city in California to ban gas appliances in favor of costly electric appliances.
Newsom’s trip comes after a team of California climate officials returned from China last week for the first time since 2019, according to Politico. The delegation met with officials in several provinces to reinforce existing collaborations on air pollution reduction and transitioning to EVs.
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