When asked about whether China has spoken to the Trump administration about the climate agreement, she said, "China and the United States have close communications about a wide variety of topics, and of course, this includes the issue of climate change".
Brown has made climate change one of his legacy issues and is calling Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement "deviant behavior from the highest office in the land".
Abandoning the Paris pact would isolate the USA from a raft of worldwide allies who spent years negotiating the 2015 agreement to fight global warming and pollution by reducing carbon emissions in almost 200 nations.
But he emphasized that's still a significant increase - especially if the goal is ultimately to hold the planet to an even more ambitious 1.5 degree Celsius, another target cited in the Paris agreement.
On the other side, parts of the USA could opt in to the treaty, according to Jerry Brown, the governor of California, speaking in the Los Angeles Times, a U.S. newspaper, on Thursday.
The United States Conference of Mayors, a separate, non-partisan group that represents the leaders of cities with more than 30,000 people, released its own statement penned by Phoenix, Arizona's Greg Stanton.
According to a draft of the statement, seen by The Associated Press, Brussels and Beijing will say they "are determined to forge ahead with further policies and measures for effective implementation of their respective nationally determined contributions" to fighting climate change.
Trump's chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, has discussed the possibility of changing the US carbon reduction targets instead of pulling out of the deal completely.
Republican politicians and representatives of the coal industry cheered Trump's action.
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Trump said on Twitter late Wednesday he will announce his decision on whether to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord during a Rose Garden event Thursday afternoon.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday categorically ruled out any renegotiation of the Paris climate accord and said U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw would harm American interests and citizens.
Under former President Barack Obama, the US had agreed to reduce emissions to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 - about 1.6 billion tons.
Specific targets haven't been set for each state.
"Trump is AWOL but California is on the field, ready for battle", Brown wrote in a tweeted photo. The Washington Post, and many other outlets, have alreadyreported that Trump is leaning toward exiting the deal, while cautioning that he could still change his mind.
That fight has played out within Trump's administration. At home, Brown is battling to reauthorize a cap-and-trade program that expires in 2020, a key piece of his political legacy.
It comes as the bloc reached a historic pact with China to uphold the global agreement to combat climate change in the face of Mr Trump's expected retreat.
In May, McAuliffe announced plans to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants fired by fossil fuels.
Trump's position on the Paris accord was a focal point of last week's G7 summit in Sicily, at which leaders of the world's six other leading economies pressed him to renew the U.S. commitment to the deal. Mark Warner, also a Democrat, called the decision "a historic mistake" that will undermine America's position in the world.