He rejected the idea that the governors represent a shadow diplomatic corps. “I don’t think it’s a shadow,” he said. “We’re in the sunlight. We’re shining the bright light of success.”
The General Assembly brings together leaders and senior officials from nearly 200 countries for a week of speeches and high-level talks. Climate change — though not the central issue of the meeting — will have a high profile, in part because of confusion over whether the United States can be persuaded to remain in the Paris agreement. The White House has asserted that it will stay in the pact if “suitable terms” are met. It has not laid out what those terms might be.
Mr. Cohn’s breakfast meeting on Monday with a handful of ministers to discuss climate change was the only event the White House has scheduled on the topic.
“That’s why we have governors here. Because we don’t have someone from Washington D.C.,” Governor Brown said. “The states are picking up the baton.”
Governor Brown, along with Governor Inslee and Gov. David Y. Ige of Hawaii, is also participating in Climate Week, a series of high-level panels on climate change. The Trump administration did not send a representative to the meetings, which are not affiliated with the United Nations.
Governor Inslee will also meet with Frank Bainimarama, the prime minister of Fiji, which holds the presidency of United Nations climate change negotiations this year.
Another governor, Roy Cooper of North Carolina, was expected to announce this week that his state would join California, 13 other states and Puerto Rico in the United States Climate Alliance, a group of states and territories that has pledged to uphold the Paris agreement.