When Gov. Jerry Brown and a group of state lawmakers arrive in Paris this week for international climate talks, their primary role – while world leaders try to hammer out an accord – will be to promote California’s aggressive greenhouse gas reduction policies on a world stage.
“Obviously, we want to export what we have been able to accomplish so far in the state of California,” Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León said Monday.
But there are other reasons to make the trip.
“What we want to bring back to California, obviously, is more investment capital,” de León said.
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Because of Silicon Valley and state policies that promote green technology, California has become a relative giant in private investment in the field. De León’s remarks came hours after Bill Gates announced the formation of a new, multibillion fund to support green energy technology, with nearly a third of its members from California.
Framing greenhouse gas reduction requirements as a business proposition is significant to de León and other Democratic lawmakers. While many conservatives argue that the strict emissions regulations hurt businesses, de León and other Democrats argue a growing clean technology sector creates jobs.
“It’s not just about climate change, clean air,” de León said.
In a call with reporters, the Los Angeles Democrat said he expected to meet with some potential investors while in Paris, and to appear on panels they might attend.
“There’s going to be a lot of entrepreneurs,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of folks who have capital or represent capital.”