This week, Governor Jerry Brown heads to Paris for the United Nations summit on climate change. As the representative of the eighth largest economy in the world, he will likely be greeted more as a de facto head of state than just a governor.
Still there are limits to what a California delegation can do. In an interview on Which Way LA? with Warren Olney, Brown said that the “sub-national” groups like California are a “catalytic element” of the Paris negotiations.
“We are going to form an alliance to push our nation states to do all we can at the regional, state and local level,” Brown said.
In his familiar form, the governor struck a tone of both doom and dream. “We’re not going to get the job done, but we’re going to take a big leap forward.”
While Brown is meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss regional solutions to climate change, he has critics at home who say he’s been too accepting of hydraulic fracturing and other oil production in the state. Brown brushed that criticism aside. “Some would say we should stop oil production in California, but that would result in increasing the ships and trains, we’d be taking it from other places that don’t even drill with the conservation and restrictions we have.”
Asked about Sacramento diverting money to California’s controversial and over-budget high-speed rail project, Brown said it’s the right kind of alternative to carbon emissions and jet fuel.
“I’ll tell you, as an old guy — Warren — and me, we don’t always want to be behind the wheel. You get on high-speed rail, you take out your iPad, have a martini and life will be a lot better.”