Gov. Jerry Brown called President Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord an "insane move" and said "California will resist because his effort is misguided."
Trump announced on Thursday that he was pulling the U.S. out of the historic international agreement that set global goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. He cited job losses and a lack of fairness in the Paris deal as key reasons to exit and try to re-enter the accord on different terms.
“This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States,” Trump said in a speech from the White House.
“He’s wrong on the facts. California’s economy and America’s economy are boosted by following the Paris agreement,” Brown said in a call to reporters with U.S. and global experts on climate change. “Trump is wrong when he says this is bad for jobs. It’s good for jobs -- the jobs of the future.”
Addressing Trump's arguments directly, Brown said in an interview with PBS Newshour's Judy Woodruff that job growth and climate action are not mutually exclusive. He told Woodruff that California has created 2.4 million jobs since the recession, thanks in part to efforts to protect the environment.
"It's consistent and in fact I'd say driven by the clean tech investments and the climate action strategies that we've embarked upon," he said.
Brown and two other governors -- Andrew Cuomo of New York and Jay Inslee of Washington -- announced that they were forming the United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that will convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change.
"The world is not waiting for Donald Trump," Brown told Woodruff. "He has given a body blow to the cause of environmental sustainability. But we'll take it, we'll respond, we're on the field of battle and we're gonna overcome. That I can promise you."
The three states, which represent over one-fifth of U.S. gross domestic product, are committed to achieving the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan, they said in a statement.
“California will resist because his effort is misguided. I would even say this is an insane move," Brown said on the call with reporters. "The world depends on a sustainable future."
Brown said he was headed to China on Friday to continue work on the climate change fight, meeting with 175 partners from around the world.
"This group is completely committed to meeting the Paris agreement. We are committed and even going further," he said. "Trump is AWOL but California is on the field, ready for battle."
Here are more reactions from California lawmakers:
Attorney General Xavier Becerra
Sen. Dianne Feinstein
“If the White House won’t lead, California will step up. We will continue our fight against climate change.”
Sen. Kamala Harris
“Pulling out of the Paris Agreement is an irrational decision that is a disastrous step backward, threatens the future viability of our planet for future generations, and abdicates our role of leadership.”
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael, District 2)
"TY @JerryBrownGov for your climate leadership! If the Trump’s admin won’t lead, our states must #defendclimate"
House Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove, District 4)
"THANK YOU @POTUS for protecting America's working families from the folly of #ParisAgreement. American prosperity comes first!"
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader (D-San Francisco, District 12)
“By walking away from this pact, President Trump is abandoning America’s leadership position in the fight against the climate crisis and is sending a strong message to the rest of the world to create, design and manufacture clean energy solutions and create jobs elsewhere. If President Trump wants nations like China and India to take stronger and swifter action on climate, then he should do so through the accountability and enforcement provisions in the Paris Agreement, not by breaking our word and storming out of the room."
House Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield, District 23), Majority Leader
".@POTUS made the right call in leaving a deal that would have put an unnecessary burden on the United States."
Rep. Scott Peters (D-La Jolla, District 52)
“Exiting the Paris Agreement is bad for the planet and for American standing, leverage, and jobs. It is morally wrong and monumentally stupid."