California Governor Jerry Brown has taken a biting message with him on his European tour.
Over the course of a four-country, ten-day visit to Europe ahead of a United Nations climate change conference in Bonn, Brown has taken a tough stance on climate change—in some cases going so far as to undercut President Donald Trump’s policies.
In an address to the Baden-Wuerttemberg state assembly in Stuttgart, Germany, Brown warned of the perils of global warming, saying that “human civilization is on the chopping block.” The problem is global, Brown said, so no single person is in charge. “[E]veryone is creating the problem, and unless everyone contributes to the solution, then the job won’t get done,” he said.
He urged countries to abide by similar emissions standards, arguing that “the whole world” needs to “realize that we have a common destiny and what’s at stake.”
Brown has made similar remarks throughout his European tour, in some cases taking direct aim at Trump and his climate policies. In Stuttgart, he went so far as to say that people are looking to California—rather than the U.S. more broadly—for leadership on climate change following Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 Paris agreement. With news that Syria would join the Paris accord on Tuesday, the U.S. is now the only nation to disavow the pact.
The California governor has fought to keep the U.S. engaged in the Paris agreement despite the U.S.’s withdrawal and has also developed a separate coalition of 187 cities, states, and other jurisdictions, including the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The so-called Under 2 Coalition is committed to cutting carbon dioxide emissions and limiting global warming to an increase of 2 degrees Celsius.
For his efforts, the German media has hailed Brown as the “anti-Trump.” And anti-Trump he may well be. In his speech, Brown vowed that the U.S. will, at some point, return to the Paris accord. “Do not worry. The States are coming back,” he said.