Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday abruptly canceled his trip to the United Nations Climate Change Conference because of unspecified “family obligations,” according to a spokeswoman in his office.
Newsom was scheduled to attend the event next week in Glasgow, Scotland, to highlight his administration's climate change actions. That includes a proposed ban on the sale of all new gas-powered cars in the state by 2035, a ban on all oil drilling by 2045 and outlawing the sale of new gas-powered lawn equipment by 2024 or whenever state regulators determine is feasible.
Newsom was to lead a California delegation that included his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and 14 other legislators and some of the state's top environmental regulators.
Newsom spokeswoman Erin Mellon said Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, a fellow Democrat, will now lead the delegation.
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Mellon said Newsom “will be participating virtually, focusing on California's landmark climate change policies.”
Kounalakis said California will be well-represented at the conference despite Newsom's absence.
“The governor has a very clear agenda around combatting climate change and climate resiliency," she said. “We are a 22-member delegation with enormous expertise and together we will carry the governor’s agenda and message and vision to Glasgow.”