Thousands of lawmakers, business leaders, activists, scientists, and climate change enthusiasts descended upon San Francisco last month to participate in the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS). Among those continuing to fight against climate change were the Schwarzenegger Institute's Environmental Policy Director and former CA State Senator, Fran Pavley and Global Director, Conyers Davis. Although Governor Schwarzenegger could not make the event due to filming commitments, he did send a video message thanking participants and reminding them that “all of you are heroes because you are fighting for a clean environment, for a clean world and the green world.”
Governor Schwarzenegger’s and Senator Pavley’s environmental leadership were recognized throughout the Summit and were highlighted on the series of interviews and panels Senator Pavley participated in.
Senator Pavley began her busy week in San Francisco by speaking on a panel at Super Pollutant Day, an event organized by the Pisces Foundation, ClimateWorks, and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition. Senator Pavley was surrounded by fellow climate change leaders on her panel including Public Health and Environment Director of the World Health Organization, María Neira; Executive Director of the Mexican Agency for Security, Energy, and Environment, Carlos de Regules; climate champion, California State Senator Ricardo Lara; and community organizer, Cesar Aguirre. All of the panelists discussed the importance of continuing to work toward climate reduction goals and compelled the audience to invest more time focusing on super pollutants since urgently addressing them will be necessary to meet climate reduction goals.
In addition to the panel, the Super Pollutant Day event included a scientific presentation on the significance of reducing super pollutants (methane, HFC’s, and black carbon) in order to meet the 2-degree C climate reduction goals; announcements from a variety of foundations, legislators and government agencies recommitting and expanding their efforts to fight climate changes; and an awards ceremony that recognized and honored those who have gone above and beyond for the climate change cause.
In another event hosted by the CALmatters news group, Senator Pavley participated in a panel alongside industry and policy leaders to address the question, “California is a global leader in the fight against climate change, should it be?” The panelists discussed the role California should have in adapting climate change policies and ultimately Senator Pavley’s leadership and discussion proved that the question shouldn’t be whether California should be a leader, but how urgently its policies should combat climate change.
Senator Pavley also participated in an event hosted by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and co-sponsored by CALcef and the Schwarzenegger Institute called “Business Case for Smart Climate, Clean Energy Policy.” Once again, this event highlighted how California's climate laws, especially AB 32 signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, have not only been good for the environment, but have encouraged growth of clean-tech businesses as well. The market signal from California policies to tackle the climate challenge and transform the energy sector has resulted in more clean-tech investment capital to California than to any other state.
Senator Pavley was also able to participate in a panel conversation held by the Low Carbon Fuels Coalition. This panel was of particular interest to the Institute as Governor Schwarzenegger implemented, through an executive order, a Low Carbon Fuel Standard for California which eventually became part of AB 32. On the panel, Senator Pavley talked to representatives from Oregon and Washington about their efforts to join California and British Columbia in a regional coalition to create a market for cleaner fuels. The Schwarzenegger Institute is part of a coalition to assist the legislature in the State of Washington in adopting policies for investment in lower carbon fuels that will be good for their environment and their state's economy.
Global Director Conyers Davis also took part in a number of events and meetings throughout the week and spoke at a finance-themed Talanoa Dialogue, which was hosted by the COP23 Presidency, Climate Policy Initiative, and The Rockefeller Foundation. The Talanoa Dialogue was an official COP 23 event in which leading policy makers, financial institutes and world leaders from multiple countries met to discuss the climate change finance and the Schwarzenegger Institute will be hosting a follow up in late October in Los Angeles.