Capitol Alert

Without Washington, Jerry Brown makes clean energy deals with China


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Gov. Jerry Brown, in China this week, today marks the signing of a new clean energy pact with China aimed at advancing low-carbon technologies, clean energy development and environmental protections in California and abroad.

“As I see many problems in the world – many tensions and disruptions – I also see the growing importance of partnerships such as the one we’re building with Sichuan and California,” Brown said Monday in Sichuan Province’s capital of Chengdu after signing the pact Sunday. “Let’s get done as much as possible in the time that we have.”

Following today’s signing ceremony in Beijing with China’s Ministry of Science and Technology officials, Brown will speak at the Clean Energy Ministerial, also in Beijing. The annual meeting, now in its 8th year, is a gathering of officials from 24 member countries and the European Union that seeks to drive renewable energy policies and environmental actions across the globe.

Brown is on a week-long trip to to “expand the state’s close climate ties with China and “reaffirm the commitment” of places like California to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to his office.

Wednesday, Brown is set to deliver the keynote address at the “Under2 Clean Energy Forum,” a meeting of cities, states, countries, businesses and non-governmental organizations that have vowed to take actions to limit rising global temperatures and address climate change. The “Under2 Coalition” is named for the 2 degrees Celsius temperature threshold widely accepted as the climate change tipping point in which the consequences of rising temperatures on Earth could be “catastrophic,” as the governor puts it.

Brown’s actions bolstering California’s environmentally focused relationship with China come days after President Donald Trump exited the Paris climate accord. During his announcement last Thursday, Trump said the Paris Agreement would weaken America’s economy and that it “fails to live up to our environmental ideals.”

The new pact between California and China, signed by Brown and Sichuan Governor Yin Li, promises to establish a California-Sichuan Clean Tech Innovation Center in Chengdu and make available new financing through a California-China Technology Partnership Fund. The goal is to spur new investment in the renewable energy sector in both California and China.

WORTH REPEATING: “Take that, Oregon.” -State Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, as the Legislature’s budget-writing committee advanced a proposal for the Secure Choice retirement program. The OregonSaves program begins this summer.

TAMPON DRIVE: To help homeless women, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, is urging donations of tampons at the state Capitol.

Collection boxes will be set up in the offices of 36 state lawmakers from June 5th through the 9th, then donated to a local homeless organization next week.

“When people think about donating to the homeless, they tend to think about clothing and canned food,” Garcia said in a statement. “Those are great items, but people don’t tend to think about tampons and other feminine products women really can’t live without in society, let alone if we are holding down a job. As women, our periods aren’t optional.”

Garcia is also pushing legislation that would require feminine hygiene products be provided in the restrooms of public schools attended by kids in grades 6 to 12 where 40 percent of pupils are from low-income families. Her Assembly Bill 10 heads to the Senate after clearing the Assembly floor last week.

Garcia’s tax-free tampon bill, however, will not move forward.

GOVERNOR’S RACE: Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will discuss education, economic inequality and immigration with Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California., from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. today. It’s the latest in PPIC’s 2017 speaker series. Registration is closed, but online viewing is available.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra is the next featured speaker on June 13.

Angela Hart: 916-326-5528, @ahartreports