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California, New Zealand Announce Climate Change Partnership

SAN FRANCISCO — Top officials from California and New Zealand signed a pledge Friday to help fight climate change by sharing ideas and best practices, including how to put millions more electric vehicles on the road.

Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern discussed the agreement in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The deal does not commit either government to specific policies but outlines broad areas for cooperation.

“We have a natural bond, and I’m so glad we put pen to paper today to affirm that and continue our partnership on one of the great challenges of our generation,” said Ardern.

Cars, trucks, and other parts of the transportation sector are the largest contributors to California’s greenhouse gas emissions and New Zealand’s second-largest, after agriculture, Ardern said. California will ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. New Zealand wants 30% of all car sales to be electric by that year.

Newsom said he expects competition to intensify in the electric vehicle market, which Tesla currently dominates, similar to when Netflix faced competition from other streaming services.

New Zealand is home to 5 million people compared to California’s population of 39 million and has a much smaller economy. Ardern said her administration will talk to California officials about programs incentivizing people to get rid of older, gas-guzzling cars.

New Zealand is strongly focused on reducing emissions from its important agricultural sector.

California is also home to a large agricultural industry that produces many of the world’s fruits and vegetables. The agreement states that the two governments can participate in joint projects to expand farming practices that improve soil health, reduce methane emissions and increase water efficiency.

The memorandum of cooperation was signed by Jared Blumenfeld, the California Environmental Protection Agency secretary, and Jeremy Clarke-Watson, New Zealand’s Consul General in Los Angeles.

California already has climate-focused agreements with many other countries, including China, Canada, and Mexico.

Former California governor Jerry Brown, also a Democrat, helped launch a coalition of 270 subnational governments to keep emissions below 2 degrees Celsius.

At last year’s global climate conference in Scotland, California signed a brief joint statement with New Zealand and the Canadian province of Quebec to share information on climate policy, including carbon markets.

Due to Arden’s prominent role in the aftermath of the 2019 massacre of 51 worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, the issue of gun control was also expected to be raised.

Newsom is pressuring the state legislature to send him a package of gun-reform bills in the wake of this week’s murder of 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school.

Less than a month after the Christchurch shooting, New Zealand’s parliament voted to ban most automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

Newsom and Ardern did not speak publicly about gun control. However, Ardern raised her country’s actions in response to a question about “shared values” between California and New Zealand.

“It was clear that the New Zealand public expected its politicians to find solutions quickly,” Ardern said. “Are they now the answer to all our gun-related issues in New Zealand? No, but they were practical steps that we believed were necessary and that would make a difference. So we made them.”

Investigators say an 18-year-old gunman who shot and killed 10 shoppers at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, targeting black people, had investigated the racist Christchurch shooting and also broadcast the attack live as the Christchurch gunman did.

Albert L. Davis

My name is Albert, and I am a full time blogger by passion. I write about things that I am passionate about, and I have been lucky enough to find a career that fits me so well. I love being able to come home from work and spend my day doing what I want to do. I enjoy sharing tips and tricks to help others live a more balanced life, and I am grateful every day for the chance to share my knowledge with people all over the world.

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