Climate Action

EU and California in joint climate push, boost cooperation


Building on concrete efforts by both California and the EU to implement carbon markets and zero-carbon transportation policies, and in light of the global momentum generated by the Paris Agreement, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete and Governor of California Jerry Brown met today in Brussels and agreed to step up cooperation on emissions trading and zero-carbon transportation.

On carbon markets, the EU and California will hold regular political and technical dialogues on the design and implementation of their carbon markets, including cooperation with other carbon markets such as China. Hosted by China's Special Representative on Climate Change Affairs, Commissioner Arias Cañete and Governor Brown will open a high-level event on carbon markets and the role of carbon pricing in China on 14 November at COP 23 in Bonn.

The EU and California will also work together to scale zero-carbon transportation solutions globally, including by bringing new commitments and new partners to the Global Climate Action Summit which California will host 12-14 September 2018.

The Global Climate Action Summit will bring together leaders from all around the world and in every walk of life – from government to business, from science to faith, and from students to investors to non-profit leaders – who believe that climate change is an existential threat and are committed to rolling back the forces of carbonisation. The Summit will emphasise how subnational actors have already contributed to emissions reductions, spur bold new commitments, and galvanise a global movement for everyone to do more.

Following today's meeting, EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: "The EU and California are natural partners in the fight against climate change and have been pioneers in the early years of carbon markets and clean mobility. Today we agreed to strengthen our cooperation so that we remain leaders in these areas – both of which will be key for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement."

"We are truly facing a challenge unprecedented in human history," said Governor Brown. "If we come together and we see the truth of our situation, we can overcome it. We've fought great battles before and I hope that the European Union and California will be able to inspire the rest of the world."

The European Union is the largest carbon market in the world, with its emissions trading system a key part of the EU's policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while California also has a well-established carbon market, that is linked with markets in Quebec and Ontario.

The EU's low-emission mobility strategy for the transport sector is also a key element of the bloc's climate policy, with a major new proposal on CO2 emission standards for cars and vans to be considered by the Commission tomorrow. California introduced its first regulation to accelerate the uptake of zero-emissions vehicles in 1990 and its current standards have been adopted by nine other US States. The state also has a goal to put more than 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on its roads by 2025.

California climate policies and programmes have cut carbon emissions, helped create clean technology jobs and spurred partnerships across the United States and around the world to fight climate change.

The state has created more than 2.6 million new jobs since 2010, and the unemployment rate has declined by more than half. Climate leadership in both the public and private sectors has played a key role in the state’s economic growth, with the state now home to more than 500,000 advanced-energy jobs. In 2015, at the end of a ten-year period in which state per capita carbon emissions fell by 12 percent, the sector created jobs at six times the rate of the overall state economy, showing that economic growth and climate ambition go hand-in-hand.