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California Governor Heads to Europe for Climate Talks

FILE - California Governor Jerry Brown speaks in Sacramento, Jan. 9, 2014.
FILE - California Governor Jerry Brown speaks in Sacramento, Jan. 9, 2014.

California Governor Jerry Brown is continuing his international fight against climate change with an 11-day trip to Europe starting Saturday that includes stops at the Vatican and a U.N. conference in Germany.

Brown is a chief adversary to Republican President Donald Trump in the battle over U.S. climate policy, promising to help the country reach its emissions reductions targets even as Trump withdraws from an international climate accord. He's been named the special adviser for states and regions at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany.

"While the White House declares war on climate science and retreats from the Paris Agreement, California is doing the opposite and taking action," Brown said in a statement announcing the trip. "We are joining with our partners from every part of the world to do what needs to be done to prevent irreversible climate change."

The nonprofit California State Protocol Foundation, which accepts donations from private businesses, pays for Brown's international travel. Travel for Brown's staff members will be partially covered by money from the nonprofit Climate Registry and the Climate Action Reserve, a program that deals with carbon offset projects, spokesman Evan Westrup said.

Summit next year

Brown's November trip follows visits to China and Russia earlier this year to promote international collaboration on climate change. Next year, he plans to host a summit in San Francisco.

He will give a speech Saturday to the Vatican Pontifical Academy of Sciences symposium. During the week, Brown will address European Parliament leaders and the state parliament in Baden-Wurttemberg Germany, meet with representatives from national scientific academies and serve on several panels at the U.N. conference.

Governors Kate Brown of Oregon, Jay Inslee of Washington and Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, all Democrats, will join him on a panel about states' roles in fighting climate change. California Senate leader Kevin de Leon, also a Democrat, is scheduled to speak Friday at a Vatican workshop on climate.

The trip ends November 14.