California Gov. Jerry Brown savaged President Donald Trump’s decision Thursday to vacate the Paris climate accord as “insane” and “deviant” as he joined with like-minded governors to form alliance to uphold the agreement and pursue immediate action on climate change.
“Donald Trump has absolutely chosen the wrong course. California’s economy and America’s economy are boosted by following the Paris agreement,” Brown said on a conference call after Trump’s withdrawal from a pact with nearly 200 counties, putting the U.S. in the company of Syria and Nicaragua.
“California will resist because his effort is misguided,” Brown added in the call with reporters. “I would even say this is an insane move.”
Trump, delivering on a campaign pledge, said the agreement puts the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage “to the exclusive benefit of other countries.” Remaining in the coalition would saddle businesses and taxpayers with additional costs, Trump said.
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In response, Brown, along with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, announced the formation of a United States Climate Alliance to convene states interested in upholding the Paris accord.
Brown, who departs Friday for climate change meetings in China, reaffirmed California’s “all in” approach, saying its focus on clean energy helped the state’s economy grow 40 percent faster than the rest of the country.
“The world depends on a sustainable future,” Brown said, reiterating his prediction that Trump’s withdrawal would inspire backlash through a fresh wave of environmental activism. “He is going the other way.”
“It’s tragic, but out of that tragedy I believe America and the rest of the world will mobilize, will galvanize our efforts.
“In fact, Trump may well create the exact opposite of what he intended.”