Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger holds court while Governor Jerry Brown listens before a climate bill signing on Treasure Island, San Francisco.
Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger holds court while Governor Jerry Brown listens before a climate bill signing on Treasure Island, San Francisco. Eric Risberg

California unites behind Paris

FORMER Republican governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Democrat successor, Jerry Brown, have signed a bill extending California's ambitious climate change policy, taking pot shots at US President Donald Trump along the way.

Standing on Treasure Island with a backdrop of the San Francisco CBD, Governor Brown said California was filling the leadership void on climate policy created by President Trump.

"The gravity of this topic is so great that it's hard to talk about it,” he said.

"If we don't do something about it, it is the end of the world as we know it.”

Schwarzenegger, who signed the state's first cap-and-trade bill in 2006 at the same spot on Treasure Island, praised the bipartisan approach of lawmakers in the Democrat-dominated state congress in extending the cap-and-trade program by 10 years from 2020 to 2030.

"We have a functional government here in California where Democrats and Republicans work together,” Schwarzenegger said.

"This is a very important message for Washington, where both of the parties cannot work together - I hope they learn something from this.”

Referring to President Trump, Schwarzenegger said: "America is fully in the Paris agreement. There's only one man that dropped out. America did not drop out.”

Carbon emissions are limited under the program and polluters must obtain permits to release greenhouse gases - raising revenue for other climate change policies..



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