Alphabet's Google, Microsoft and Facebook are among dozens of companies that pledged their support for policies combating climate change following President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris accord. Jerry Brown met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Former President Barack Obama's target of 26 to 28 percent greenhouse gas level reductions by 2025 based off 2005 emissions levels mostly missed the mark, according to an analysis in January by the Rhodium Group.
Brown's agreement with Jiangsu Province (PDF) will also open the possibility of developing an emissions trading market that works with California's emissions trading system.
"We can't do it alone", Brown said during the meeting. California has been on the forefront in improving green energy sources.
The pair met soon after the top USA diplomat in China resigned, allegedly in protest of Trump's Paris decision.
Their conversation also took place on the first day of an worldwide clean energy forum in Beijing, where the Paris decision threatened to turn a mundane meeting of global energy ministers into a raucous debate about national sovereignty and renewed ambitions for an ailing planet. China is set to implement a carbon trading program this year, and California has an ongoing cap-and-trade program that's linked to the program in Quebec, Canada.
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"Hosting the ministerial is a big statement about where China has pledged its future and a kind of assertion of leadership", said Isabel Hilton, a founder of Chinadialogue, a website that focuses on environmental issues.
Brown has been vocal on climate matters.
Republicans' disfavor of the Paris Agreement is not new, as 22 GOP senators submitted a letter to Trump on May 25, attempting to persuade the president to abandon the pact.
Similar to the disastrous Iran treaty of appeasement, Obama called the Paris deal by another name to get around constitutional restrictions on the power of the executive branch. It also wants to hit 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.
Scientists from around the globe have warned that this ongoing warming creates conditions that spawn severe weather events, change global climate patterns, melt the world's glaciers and damage its coral reefs, and raise sea levels around the world.
From a geopolitical perspective, he said, "my personal take is that the American decision can be interpreted as a factor in the erosion of the moral and political leadership of the United States".