California and other U.S. states vow to lead as Trump exits Paris climate pact. Ben Gruber reports.
STORY: California Governor Jerry Brown is heading to China with a clear message to the international community: U.S. President Donald Trump does not speak for several U.S. states when it comes to climate change. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JERRY BROWN, GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA, SAYING: "This group is completely committed to meeting the Paris agreement. We are committed and even going further." Trump on Thursday said he would pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement saying a push to reduce carbon emissions could threaten millions of jobs. But Governor Brown believes the opposite is true saying that Trump's decision effectively clears the way for China to lead the renewable energy economy. Ann Carlson, a professor of environmental law at UCLA says California's efforts to lead the climate fight is a step in the right direction. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANN CARLSON, PROFESSOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - LOS ANGELES (UCLA), SAYING: "So, I think it is important for California to be out in front. I think it's important for every other state that is willing to do so to say 'we believe in climate change, we believe that we have an obligation to reduce our emissions. I think it takes some of the sting out of the Trump Administration's reneging on the Paris agreement, not all of it by any means, but it does take some of it out." (SOUNDBITE) (English) BILL CORCORAN, DIRECTOR OF SIERRA CLUB - WEST, SAYING: "We can meet the carbon goals, the greenhouse gas emission goals of the Paris agreement if we just continue to close down coal plants, build wind turbines, put up solar and increase energy efficiency in communities and create jobs doing that. So it's up to communities and the states to continue the progress that President Trump seems determined to halt." That is Bill Corcoran from the Sierra Club, a climate advocacy group. He and others hope a state level movement to cap greenhouse gases and carbon emissions will prove to the world that when it comes to environment, the United States could still lead the way.