Furthering California’s long-standing collaboration with China on climate change, Governor Gavin Newsom recently renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance ongoing cooperation on initiatives to protect the environment, reduce carbon emissions and air pollution, and promote clean energy development.
The Governor and China’s Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu signed the MOU in a virtual meeting joined by Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, who serves as the Governor’s Representative for International Affairs and Trade Development, and senior climate officials from California and China.
“California is a global leader in combating the climate crisis while growing our economy, but we can’t tackle this existential challenge alone,” said Governor Newsom. “Today’s MOU deepens California’s strong climate and clean energy ties with China, bolstering our efforts to expand clean transportation, achieve carbon neutrality, and accelerate nature-based climate solutions. We’ll continue to foster meaningful collaboration with partners around the globe as we work to build a healthier, fossil fuel free future.”
The MOU outlines continued exchanges between California and China – the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases – on the implementation of emissions trading systems, expanding markets for clean transportation, including zero-emission vehicles, and reducing air pollution and short-lived climate pollutants. It also includes a new focus on strategies to achieve carbon neutrality, nature-based solutions to combat climate change and protect biodiversity, and promoting climate-resilient infrastructure investment and green finance. The MOU renews a prior version signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2018.
“Our climate crisis demands collective action, and California is committed to working with partners around the globe to hasten our transition to a carbon-free future,” said Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis. “As two of the world’s largest economies, today’s signing between California and China reaffirms our commitment to work together to solve this global challenge.”
The California-China Climate Institute at the University of California, Berkeley will serve as California’s primary liaison for information sharing and communication under the MOU. Led by former Governor Brown, the Institute was launched in 2019 to foster cooperation and joint policy research on climate issues by California and China. Governor Newsom last year signed legislation to codify the Institute in statute.
California’s forward-thinking climate policies have seen the state exceed its 2020 climate target four years ahead of schedule, created a booming ZEV market that leads the nation in every category, and spurred partnerships across the U.S. and around the world. Under Governor Newsom’s leadership, California is taking bold action to reduce demand for oil by ending the sale of new gas cars by 2035; moving to prevent harmful oil production in our communities and taking steps to phase out oil drilling and fracking entirely; and increasing access to zero-emission mobility in low-income communities. The Governor’s historic $37.6 billion climate package will further advance California’s progress toward an oil-free future and bolster the state’s clean energy economy. Ahead of COP26, the Governor and other Under2 Coalition partners announced its transition to become a net zero coalition, raising ambition for member states and regions. California also joined the Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance, which brings together national and subnational governments committed to advancing a just transition away from oil and gas production.