Syria to sign Paris climate pact, leaving only U.S. opposed

Syria agreed to join the Paris climate agreement, leaving the United States as the only country to oppose the accord. Photo by Ian Langsdon/EPA

Nov. 7 (UPI) — Syria announced Tuesday it would sign the Paris climate agreement, leaving the United States as the only country to oppose it.

A Syrian delegate announced the decision — just a month after Nicaragua signed the deal — during U.N. climate talks.

“This is the very last country that actually announced,” Safa Al Jayoussi, the executive director of IndyAct, said. “So everyone has joined and the U.S. is now so isolated.”

U.S. President Donald Trump announced in June his intention to withdraw from the Paris pact, calling it a “bad deal” and saying it “fails to live up to our environmental ideals.”

Trump said the United States, the second largest producer of greenhouse gases after China, would stay withdrawn unless the agreement could be renegotiated. Other countries in the deal said that isn’t possible.

White House spokeswoman Kelly Love said the United States hasn’t changed its position on climate change and pointed to a statement by the Trump administration when Nicaragua joined the agreement.

“As the president previously stated, the United States is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms that are more favorable for our country,” it read.

The Paris agreement was struck in 2015 under former President Barack Obama and brought nearly 200 countries on board to combat greenhouse gas emissions.

Though Syria indicated its intention to sign onto the deal, it has not yet submitted its targets to cut greenhouses gases.

“With Syria’s decision, the relentless commitment of the global community to deliver on Paris is more evident than ever,” Paula Caballero, director of the climate change program at the World Resources Institute, said.

“The U.S.’s stark isolation should give Trump reason to reconsider his ill-advised announcement and join the rest of the world in tackling climate change.”

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