California, China defy U.S. climate retreat with new cleantech agreement


California Governor Jerry Brown is in China this week and attended a Clean Energy Forum on Tuesday in Beijing. Reuters wrote that Brown has called President Trump’s recent Paris Agreement decision “insane,” and in a speech today, he criticized policy makers that were “resisting reality.” Brown apparently told reporters at the Beijing forum that the failure of leadership from the US was “only temporary.”

Reuters also noted that “US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who was at the same conference, declined to take questions from reporters.”

Brown’s agreement with Jiangsu Province (PDF) will also open the possibility of developing an emissions trading market that works with California’s emissions trading system. China is set to implement a carbon trading program this year, and California has an ongoing cap-and-trade program that’s linked to the program in Quebec, Canada. However, the pledge to link with China’s market may be a formality for now. Ma Aimin, a deputy director general of China’s National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, told Reuters that “It will be a long time before there is true cooperation with California, whose market is just at a regional stage and is hard to link up with the Chinese market.”