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Global Climate Action Summit Begins This Week In San Francisco

Billy Wilson / Flickr

Billy Wilson / Flickr

More than 4,500 scientists, researchers and activists are gathering in San Francisco this week for the at the Global Climate Action Summit.

Experts will discuss everything from electric cars to food waste to speeding up progress in limiting the rise of global temperatures. The three day summit is co-chaired by Gov. Jerry Brown.

"We're on the road to perdition,” Brown said. “The Paris agreement is stalled. Whether you look to Europe or even to the United States or even to California we're not doing enough."

The summit is also a response to the Trump Administration's plan to leave the 2015 Paris climate agreement that almost 200 nations joined. Brown said he hopes to increase commitments made there. California has called out President Donald Trump for actions such as offshore drilling expansion, vehicle air pollution rules and his Clean Power Plan rollback.

“Unfortunately we are part of a culture that is dependent on oil, gas and coal,” Brown said. “That is the essence of modernity. We are saying we now have to get off it. We have to transform ourselves and that’s very daunting. It takes a lot of imagination, a lot of political will, a lot of science, a lot of technology and a lot of money”

For Daniel Sperling with UC Davis' Institute of Transportation Studies this is an opportunity to share his work around electric, shared and automated vehicles.

"These are going to play a huge role in what happens to transportation in the future,” said Sperling, author of the book "Three Revolutions". “In California, transportation accounts for almost half of all the greenhouse gas emissions and for the US as whole it’s over one third.”

UC Davis hosted four affiliate sessions in connection with the summit.

“Transportation is the only sector in California where the emissions have been increasing for the last few years,” Sperling said. “So we really need renewed attention on transportation.”

The summit is also attracting a number of high-profile personalities. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, former Vice President Al Gore and many California officials, like Attorney General Xavier Becerra, will be in attendance. Alec Baldwin will be at the summit taping a special episode of his podcast “Here’s the Thing!” Thursday.

More than 300 events are taking place in tandem with the summit including a climate change hike in the redwoods, public forums and a climate change ballet.

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