While business leaders, elected officials and activists from around the world gather in San Francisco Thursday for the Global Climate Action Summit, indigenous activists rallied to call out California governor's "hypocrisy" on fossil fuel and call on the summit to not make profit-driven decisions.
Activists with Brown's Last Chance campaign have been voicing their concerns and pushing back on Gov. Jerry Brown's inaction on the state's fossil fuel extraction and oil drilling, the processes which activists say undercuts other climate progress the state has made.
Native American leaders with It Takes Roots coalition and allies gathered in Jessie Square in the morning, holding up signs that read "Stand with communities, not corporation," and Carbon pricing is colonialism."
Brown, a Democrat, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke at a news conference on the first full day of the San Francisco summit that is partly a rebuke of the Trump administration.
The leaders said in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times that thousands of cities, states and other groups remain committed to reducing global warming without Trump's support.
"I think he'll be remembered, on the path he's now? I don't know. Liar, criminal, fool," the governor said.
Trump announced last year that he was withdrawing from the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord. His administration is also pursuing policies that would boost methane emissions and roll back California's strict vehicle emissions standards.
Bloomberg and Brown said they calculate the country is within striking distance of the reduction in greenhouse gases previously promised by the U.S.
Asked about the hundreds of protesters outside the conference claiming the Brown could do more in California, the governor reiterated his ambitious goals for battling greenhouse gas emissions at all levels.
"I believe California has the most far reaching plan to deal with any emissions as well as oil consumption and production," Brown said.
Bloomberg then chimed in and compared the mostly indigenous protesters outside the summit to people who want to build the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"We've got environmentalists protesting an environmental conference. It reminds me of people who want to build a wall along the Mexican border to keep people out from a country we go to for vacations. Something's crazy here," Bloomberg said.
.@MikeBloomberg compares indigenous protesters outside the Climate Summit to people who want to build a wall along the Mexico-U.S. border.— Kiki Intarasuwan (@kintarasu) September 13, 2018
Protesters outside say they just want leaders attending the summit to not make profit-driven decisions. #GCAS2018 https://t.co/jKNB2oL3Ex pic.twitter.com/3xyOjSk4Dd
Bloomberg said the same thing again later in the day when protesters interrupted his remarks with a chant "our air is not for sale." Demonstrators were then removed by security.
Two people were arrested at the rally outside Moscone Convention Center, according to San Francisco Police Department. Jiaspi Gomez, 19, of San Diego was arrested for trespassing and Chistopher Moulton, 29, of San Francisco, for Resisting, Obstructing or Delaying a Peace Officer; Refusing to Comply with a Lawful Order of a Peace Officer; Pedestrian in a Roadway, police said.
Meanwhile, participants of the summit are expected pledge trillions of dollars in spending on cleaner energy and getting out of investments in fossil fuels, though a new United Nations report raises questions about how effective such promises have been.
That report says businesses and lower levels of government have the potential to cut enough greenhouse gases emissions to keep global warming below the danger point of another 2 degrees Fahrenheit (nearly 1 degree Celsius) from now. However, the same report says so far, 8,000 pledges from those groups haven't accomplished much.
Thousands of politicians and business leaders from around the world are expected at the two-day invitation-only summit at the Moscone Center, as well as peripheral events throughout the city. Summit spokesman Nick Nuttall said he is not aware of any U.S. government officials attending.
Messages to the U.S. Department of Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Environmental Protection Agency were not returned.
The summit comes as the Carolinas along the eastern U.S. seaboard prepares for Hurricane Florence and 2018 is on pace to be the fourth hottest year on record globally. The eight warmest years in more than a century of record keeping have all been in the past 13 years.
Conference speakers include the mayors of Paris and San Francisco, actors Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford, and primatologist Jane Goodall.
"For God’s sake, stop electing leaders who don’t believe in science. Or even worse, pretend they don’t believe in science for political self-interest," Ford said. "Never forget who you’re fighting for."
The 2015 Paris agreement commits countries to set their own plans for cutting climate emissions.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned this week that the world must rapidly shift from dependence on fossil fuels to prevent "runaway climate change."
The Global Climate Action Summit included a report that 27 major cities around the world have seen emissions decrease over a five-year period and are now at least 10 percent lower than their peak.
The cities include Berlin, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and San Francisco. Together the cities include about 54 million people.
The report came from C40 Cities Climate Leadership, a group whose board is headed by Bloomberg.
In a speech, he called the conference a way to broadcast that the U.S. is still committed to fighting global warming.
"Climate change is a global challenge and Washington ought to be leading from the front," Bloomberg said.