Gov. Brown talks climate change in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- California Gov. Jerry Brown delivered the keynote address Wednesday at a climate change conference meeting in San Francisco's Presidio.

Brown showed that he still has the energy and charisma to attract national attention and cooperation from other levels of government.

"We're in the forefront," Brown said. "We have a long way to go but we're ahead of a lot of other people."

In a joint California/Netherlands conference, the subject was how to address the need to reduce climate change while helping bolster industries that can generate jobs for decades to come.

The Netherlands sent a delegation of 26 officials including its Environment Minister with a goal of promoting and sustaining the Paris environmental accords struck in 2015 among 195 nations and governments.

"Time is of the essence (and) we must act now," aid Netherlands Environment Minister Sharon Dijksma. "We can't let Paris slip through our fingers and that's why we are here."

Because the Trump Administration has many climate change skeptics, many governments abroad see the state California as a world leader.

"The European Union feels great affinity with California's approach to climate change." Dijksma said.

Although Brown's remarks were somewhat tempered, he made sure everyone knew there is a vast difference between California and his administration compared to the Trump administration.

"If Congress doesn't do what it should do and the president doesn't take the action probably they'll be thrown out in two years anyway or four years," Brown said. "But then we'll have to spend more money."

Taking what some would consider another jab at Mr. Trump, Brown also said that the world's leader on fighting climate change is not the U.S. but China, a country he'll be visiting next week.

By KTVU reporter Tom Vacar.