Gov. Dannel P. Malloy participated Tuesday in a U.S-Chinese climate summit to announce agreements by cities, states and provinces that he says signify a greater willingness by China to restrict the production of greenhouse gases.
Malloy, who was invited by the Obama administration to the meeting in Los Angeles, said the more aggressive stance of Chinese mayors and provincial leaders foreshadowed a change in national policy.
“I think that’s the significance of what’s happening here,” Malloy said. “They wouldn’t be here without the tacit approval of the Chinese government.”
The mayors of Beijing and other municipalities told participants that they will push lower emissions in advance of 2030, the target date set for China in an agreement last fall by the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest producers of greenhouse gases.
The summit comes a week before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Washington.
Malloy was among the leaders who signed a declaration that reaffirms Connecticut’s previous commitments to reduce greenhouse gases by 10 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent from 2001 levels by 2050.
The governor attributed his invitation to Connecticut’s involvement in a longstanding effort by northeastern governors and eastern Canadian provincial leaders to curb emissions through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
“Connecticut has led,” Malloy said.
The governor said he was approached by a Chinese provincial leader with questions about Connecticut’s first-in-the-nation green bank, which uses fees on electric ratepayers for solar energy.
Connecticut also has a tie to the Obama administration on greenhouse gas policy, albeit through an appointee of his Republican predecessor, M. Jodi Rell: Gina McCarthy, the former state commissioner of environmental protection, is Obama’s administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
McCarthy’s speciality is air quality.