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Back from Australia, California Senate leader heads to England and France

Kevin de León

State Sen. President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) addresses the Senate. With the Legislature out of session, he is making multiple overseas trips.

(Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Just weeks after a fact-finding trip to Australia and a month before he heads to a climate-change conference in France, California Senate leader Kevin De León will travel to London on Monday to meet with British officials about efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote clean energy, his office said Friday.

An aide for the globe-trotting lawmaker said he is using funds from one of his political committees to pay for the trip. 

In a statement, De León said next week’s trip will include an address to members of Parliament in a committee room and to various policy and industry groups on what California is doing to address climate change.

“The California story is one of leadership,” De León said. “Much can be gained by applying our accomplishments to a global strategy to save our climate, and making sure the world knows California is the best place for clean energy investment.”

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The senator’s international travels drew criticism from Lew Uhler, president of the California-based National Tax Limitation Committee, who noted the trips are taking place even as this state faces a crumbling road system, insufficient waterworks and unfunded liabilities in its pension systems. “The good senator ought to stay home and take care of California’s real problems,” Uhler said.

The trips by De León and other lawmakers are common at this time of year, when the Legislature is out of session.

On Monday, De León is scheduled to meet with Britain’s Minister for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd to discuss California’s policy efforts.

The same issues will come up in December when De León and Gov. Jerry Brown lead a delegation to a conference on climate change in Paris.

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De León just returned from leading a week-long, fact-finding trip to Australia to learn about how that country has dealt with its own severe droughts. California is in the fourth year of a drought.

Twitter: @McGreevy99

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