Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to European officials on climate change in November 2017. Photo by Julie Cart/CALmatters
Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to European officials on climate change in November 2017. Photo by Julie Cart/CALmatters

In summary

CALmatters goes along as Gov. Jerry Brown travels through Europe on a mission to fight climate change.

Gov. Jerry Brown has been getting the royal treatment on his trip through Europe for climate talks, or at least the kind of multi-layered protocol generally reserved for heads of state. Not the head of a state.

Brown began his Tuesday in Brussels at a joint meeting of the European Parliament, where he pitched an idea he’s previously lobbied for: linking the European carbon-trading market with California’s. The Canadian province of Quebec already participates in the California system and will soon be joined by Ontario.

He ended the day amid grandeur in Stuttgart, where he met with the Minister-President of Baden-Wurttemberg, Winfried Kretschmann. The two conferred privately, then made remarks in a marbled hall in the New Palace, a gilded, heavily carved government edifice that was rebuilt after being bombed during WWII.

The talks here underscore Brown’s effort to craft climate-change policies “from the bottom up,” an effort that led to the creation of his Under2 Coalition in 2015. Members of the group, which now includes 190 regional, state and local governments, have pledged to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Kretschmann remarked that such agreements become more critical “in a time when we are receiving controversial and conflicting climate signals in Washington.”

The German official indicated that the partnership between California and Baden-Wurttemberg, an industrial powerhouse, had been strengthened during the meetings. He did not say how.

Asked to expand on new agreements between the pair, Brown said flatly, “No,” adding that details had not been worked out.

Before the dignitaries were ushered into a state dinner, Brown was led to a lavishly inlaid desk and invited to sign “The Golden Book,” a guest book. Not missing a chance to preach about climate change, Brown inscribed, “Getting the carbon out will make a better world.”

The governor launched his trip last week with an address at the Vatican, an ornate setting steeped in history where he was received with great ceremony. His travels will conclude at the U.N. Climate meetings in Bonn, Germany, next week.

His schedule picks up Wednesday morning with an address to the state Parliament. He returns to Brussels later in the day for more meetings with European parliamentary leaders.

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Julie Cart joined CalMatters as a projects and environment reporter in 2016 after a long career at the Los Angeles Times, where she held many positions: sportswriter, national correspondent and environment...