Letter from the Bonn Climate Conference
Here in Bonn, Germany where this year’s UN climate talks, #COP23, hosted for the first time by a small island nation, Fiji, the Talanoa Spirit of listening is being put to the test. In the face of the Trump administration’s science-defying stubborn determination to stand alone in pulling out of the Paris Agreement, everyone else is looking for ways to move forward. That includes nations hit hardest by climate change impacts, like Vanuatu and Singapore as well as nations with the will and means to lead on policy and provide resources to others, like Sweden.
I’m here to make the case that US states are leading the way on climate action, individually and together. We “subnationals” are everywhere—NGOs, governors, legislators and representatives of dozens of U.S. states and cities—are breaking through the background noise at this huge convening (20,000+) to reassure other nations that #WeAreStillIn on climate action, with or without federal leadership. And it’s working.
California is welcome here, as are our sister states of Oregon, Washington, Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Minnesota, Colorado, Hawai’i, Maryland and more—a bipartisan group. Is there more to be done at home? Yes. Do we all need to do more faster? Yes.
Clearly California is on the right track and witnessing the interest in what we’re doing from other states and nations is encouragement to me to keep on keeping on.
Next year California will host a Global Climate Summit at home, in San Francisco in September.
Let’s work together to make it count—for the planet, for communities, for jobs, for economies and governments around the world. I know I’ll be working to up our game in California and showcase our innovation and Golden State hospitality my mother taught me as a girl. Onward.