Capitol Alert

Donald Trump’s withdrawal from Paris climate accord would backfire, Jerry Brown says

Gov. Jerry Brown said he was disappointed with President Donald Trump’s anticipated withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris accord to curb climate-warming emissions, but predicted it would not reverse the rest of the world’s momentum – including California’s – to push for sensible climate policies.

“I think Trump, in a very paradoxical way, is doing the opposite of what he’s intending,” Brown told The Sacramento Bee on Wednesday, an interview timed to his climate-focused trip to China. “He is giving climate change a very bad name, and by his action and behavior, is stimulating a great reaction. And that reaction will build momentum.”

While Trump has yet to formally act on the Paris agreement, a pact that Brown participated in, White House officials told some news organizations the president had made up his mind to pull out. The news comes two days before the Democratic governor departs for a week-long swing through China to further bolster climate, clean energy and economic ties with a country that has reiterated its Paris commitment.

Brown said he has not been in touch with the Trump administration ahead of his climate travels, and would not say whether he’s planning a separate visit with President Xi Jinping while in Beijing.

“The great hope was Xi and Obama, the U.S. and China,” Brown said of the world’s two largest-economies, which were central to inking the Paris accord. “Now, under Trump, the United States government is going AWOL ... we are looking at some loss here in terms of our position in the world, and jobs. Trump is saying ‘jobs,’ but he’s really saying anti-jobs, because he’s betting on a dead horse.

“In fact, I would say that from what I am hearing here, is I don’t think the president can distinguish the white horse of victory from the gray horse of death, to quote the apocalypse.”

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago