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Jerry Brown Going to Russia to Talk Climate Change

Jerry Brown addresses the California Chamber of Commerce in 2015. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

On Sunday, California Gov. Jerry Brown will embark on a six-day trip to Vladivostok, Russia, to speak to international government and business leaders about the need to combat climate change. Brown, the Los Angeles Times reports, said the Eastern Economic Forum “isn’t just an occasion to promote investment, it’s an opportunity to strengthen our commitment to decarbonizing the economy.”

The Sacramento Bee notes:

Brown, who led an extension of the state’s cap-and-trade auction system, has drawn global interest in the subject just as President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accords. In June, he went to China and met with President Xi Jinping, along with the country’s special envoy on climate change, signing agreements with the national government through the Ministry of Science and Technology in Beijing, and with the leaders of Sichuan and Jiangsu.

In Vladivostok, a port city near China and North Korea in Russia’s Far East, Brown will give opening remarks to the forum and participate on a panel titled “The Russia-China-Japan-U.S. Quadrangle: Are There Opportunities for Cooperation?” Among his goals is to inject climate change into the discussions.

Politicians from Russia, India, South Korea, Vietnam and other Pacific nations are scheduled to attend. News of Brown’s optimism about cooperation with Russia comes as the United States ordered Russia on Thursday to close its consulate in San Francisco in the midst of escalating diplomatic tensions.

In related news, BRICS — an acronym for the five emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — will be holding their ninth annual summit in Xiamen, China, where the leaders of the nations will meet. Russian President Vladimir Putin authored a piece titled “BRICS: Towards new horizons of strategic partnership,” in which he outlined his hopes for the conference agenda:

It is important that our group’s activities are based on the principles of equality, respect for one another’s opinions and consensus. Within BRICS, nothing is ever forced on anyone. When the approaches of its members do not coincide, we work patiently and carefully to coordinate them. This open and trust-based atmosphere is conducive to the successful implementation of our tasks…

Russia stands for closer coordination of the BRICS countries’ foreign policies, primarily at the UN and G20, as well as other international organisations. It is clear that only the combined efforts of all countries can help bring about global stability and find solutions to many acute conflicts, including those in the Middle East. I would like to say that it was largely thanks to the efforts of Russia and other concerned countries that conditions have been created to improve the situation in Syria. We have delivered a powerful blow to the terrorists and laid the groundwork for launching the movement towards a political settlement and the return of the Syrian people to peace.

In the piece, Putin takes several perceived digs at the United States: He writes of continuing the fight on terror in Syria (it’s no secret that Putin considers the Syrian rebels—believed to be armed by the U.S.—to be instruments in a  West-driven agenda to bring down Assad) and the futility of putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile program, perhaps in response to a tweet by Donald Trump:

He also writes of the Russian/Chinese plan to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula and the uniting of BRICS countries for global information security. Perhaps of particular interest to Brown might be his words on energy research:

I would like to draw your attention to Russia’s initiative on the establishment of a BRICS Energy Research Platform. We believe that this would enable us to coordinate our information, analysis and research activities in the interests of the five BRICS countries and would ultimately facilitate the implementation of joint energy investment projects.

Putin is no stranger to the op-ed: He formerly published a scathing critique of American exceptionalism and American policy on Syria during the freeze on U.S./Russia relations in 2013. His piece on BRICS was also featured in The Times of India.

Emily Wells
​Emily Wells is an Ear to the Ground blogger at Truthdig. As a journalist, she began as a crime reporter at the Pulitzer-winning daily newspaper, The Press-Enterprise...
Emily Wells

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