Newsom sidesteps Washington by inking climate pacts with China, Australia

The most effective U.S. negotiator on international climate cooperation right now isn’t in Washington. It’s California Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose new pacts with China and other major polluters are cementing the Golden State’s role as a climate policy power broker.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry emerged from negotiations last month with Xie Zhenhua, his counterpart in Beijing, with no new agreement on climate change. Kerry touted the mere resumption of talks as a victory — underscoring the communications breakdown between the world’s two biggest polluters as tensions flare over trade, Taiwan, Russia and human rights issues.

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By Donato