Lieutenant Governor of California Speaks at CUHK on Global Climate Change
The Lieutenant Governor of California, Mr John Garamendi, delivered a lecture entitled “California’s Response to the Challenge of Global Climate Change: Lessons for Chinese Provinces” on CUHK campus today.Mr John Garamendi provided a brief history of environmental regulation and protection in the United States beginning with the crises in air and water quality in the 50s, 60s and 70s. He discussed the impacts of climate change on California and raised the need for immediate action to prepare the state for dramatic changes in water supply and flood protection. He also described the recent California law (AB 32) and likely regulatory actions based on those laws, such as caps on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon trading schemes. Besides, he described the efforts of local governments and private industry to curb greenhouse gas emissions. His lecture also covered the relationship between California and the federal government and he discussed the pressing need for local, regional and international bodies to coordinate and harmonize their efforts to curb greenhouse gases.On 8 January 2007, Mr Garamendi became the 46th Lieutenant Governor of California, bringing to the office more than 32 years of public service. He is committed to improving higher education, health care, and the environment, and boosting job creation. The Lieutenant Governor is the President of the state Senate, a Regent of the University of California, a Trustee of the California State University system, and the Chairman of the California Commission for Economic Development. Appointed in 1995 by President Bill Clinton as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Mr Garamendi negotiated the Headwaters Forest Agreement, conducted the Cal-Fed water negotiations, and put an end to the dumping of nuclear wastes in the California desert. He worked with Mr Al Gore and other leaders to prepare the American agenda for the Kyoto Climate Change Conference. In addition, he furthered protections for National Parks and negotiated the largest habitat conservation plans in the Western States. In the years prior, Mr Garamendi served for 14 years as a State Senator and two years as an Assemblyman, authoring laws that protected the environment, reformed health care, created a work-oriented welfare program, revised the tax code, and addressed California’s economic competitiveness. He also initiated a successful ballot proposition that provided US$18 billion for mass transportation and highways and funded senior centers.Mr Garamendi is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to receiving an MBA from Harvard Business School, he and his wife, Patti, were Peace Corps volunteers in Ethiopia. They have six children and nine grandchildren. This lecture will add to CUHK’s initiatives to promote international links. Over the years, many famous academics and leaders in different fields from around the world have lectured at CUHK to share their wisdom and accomplishments.