Below is a transcript of Governor Newsom’s full remarks:
Thank you, Secretary-General. Thank you all for the privilege of this opportunity. And the spirit of this convening around movers and doers – I come from a state of dreamers and doers. A state that has long prided itself on being on the leading and cutting edge. We love to say about California, ‘the future happens there first.’ We are America’s coming attraction.
Unsurprisingly, it was 1945 where the United Nations charter was founded in the great state of California. I say that, again, as a point of pride, and a point of consideration as it relates to the issue that brings us here today. It was just 22 years later in 1967 when then-conservative Governor Ronald Reagan began the process of leading the modern American environmental movement with the creation of the California Air Resources Board, and the first regulations of tailpipe emissions in America. Richard Nixon himself codified that effort in 1970 with the Clean Air Act.
California continued to lead by example in the 70s with energy efficiency. We led with the first fully-functioning cap-and-trade program in the United States. We continue to lead as it relates to efforts to completely transition to 100% zero-emission vehicles – the first state in America to establish a firm goal. And we also have established the most comprehensive plan to implement – we call it ‘the great implementation’ – our ambitious goals and advance our low-carbon, green-growth future.
I say all of that very mindful that if you read the newspaper or turn on your TV, that you see a state not just of dreamers and doers, but you see a state that’s burning up. A state that’s choking up. A state that’s heating up with wildfires and floods and droughts. Places, lifestyles and traditions being destroyed right in front of our eyes, despite all of that leadership, despite that ambition.
So I’m here with humility and gratitude to all of you – but particularly you, Mr. Secretary-General, for your clarity – because I think it’s time for us to be a lot more clear.
This climate crisis is a fossil fuel crisis. This climate crisis persists. It’s not complicated. It’s not complicated. It’s the burning of oil. It’s the burning of gas. It’s the burning of coal. And we need to call that out.