WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Governor delivered remarks at the UN Climate Ambition Summit – and called out the oil industry for their role in causing our climate crisis.
NEW YORK – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom addressed the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit hosted by the UN Secretary-General, highlighting California’s climate action on the world stage and calling out the oil industry for their continued lies. Watch the Governor’s address.
TV stations: The full video is available to download here.
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.
For decades and decades, the oil industry has been playing each and every one of us in this room for fools. They’ve been buying off politicians. They’ve been denying and delaying science and fundamental information that they were privy to that they didn’t share or they manipulated. Their deceit and denial, going back decades, has created the conditions that persist here today.
And so, thank you, Madame Undersecretary, for recognizing California’s effort to join the efforts of others to be more clear and concise in terms of what we’re up against and our responsibility to do more, and be more.
And I say all of that in closing with a spirit not of a closed fist, but of an open hand in an appreciation that we are all in this together, and mindful that all of us have unique circumstances, all of us have unique traditions, all of us have unique challenges. And I just offer this, Mr. Secretary-General: again, gratitude to you, not just for your position, formal authority, but exercising your moral authority and sharing voice, and your action and passion on clarifying what we’re up against. And I thank each and every one of you for the privilege of this time.