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New York
Friday, June 9, 2017

Fijian Prime Minister and Incoming COP23 President Frank Bainimarama has named the United States Governor of California, Jerry Brown, as the COP23 Special Envoy for States and Regions today at a special ceremony held in Sacramento, California.

As Special Envoy, Governor Brown will work intimately with the Fijian Presidency of COP23 to rally sub-national governments to align their policies and programs with the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The ceremony was also attended by the governors of Oregon, Kate Brown, and Washington State, Jay Inslee, and Leader of the California State Senate, Kevin de León, along with other senior state officials and representatives from the private sector.

The Prime Minister pointed to Governor Brown’s long track record of advocacy on climate change as the basis for his decision to appoint the Governor as Special Envoy.

"When I thought about the one leader I needed to help mobilise the states and regions as a critical pillar of our Grand Coalition, the choice was obvious. That is why I am particularly pleased to announce that I am today appointing Governor Brown as Special Envoy for States and Regions for the COP23 Presidency. In this role, I will lean on Governor Brown to continue the great leadership he has demonstrated time and time again, and to mobilise a strong contingent of like-minded leaders from around the world -- to show the world that we mean business,” he said.

At the ceremony, the Prime Minister also signed the ‘Under 2 Coalition” Memorandum of Understanding, a commitment by sub-national governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions towards net-zero by 2050. Fiji has joined 175 jurisdictions representing 35 countries as part of the coalition, which seeks commitments from all signatories to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 per cent compared to 1990 levels by 2050.

The Prime Minister described the ceremony as a big step forward for the United States, given the disappointing decision by the US President to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

"If there is one thing we have all learned over the last two weeks, for every action -- there is a reaction. And, my friends, the leadership represented in this room, and people of all walks of life from across America, have spoken very loudly -- telling the world that America will continue to tackle climate change, continue the clean energy revolution, continue to create jobs and grow its economy so that it can thrive in the 21st Century,” he said.


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