Syria Signs Paris Accords

November 7, 2017

pariscountries1117

One of these things is not like the others.

Leaving US as the only country to officially ignore climate change, and needed solutions.

Quartz:

It’s everyone against the United States of America.

When Donald Trump announced that he intends to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, the implication was that the US would join Syria and Nicaragua as the only non-signatories of the accord. The other holdouts had legitimate excuses: Syria was in the middle of a war and Nicaragua thought the agreement wasn’t ambitious enough.

Now, both countries have had a change of heart.

At the climate talks in Bonn, Germany today (Nov. 7), the Syrian government announced that it will sign the Paris climate agreement after all, according to Climate Tracker. Last month, Nicaragua also signed up. That leaves the US as the only country opting not to be part of the global consensus on climate action.

The Paris climate agreement sets out a goal to stop global temperatures from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, a crucial threshold above which dangerous changes to the climate are likely irreversible. This requires the world to achieve net zero greenhouse-gas emissions by about 2050.

The climate accord lets each country determine its own plan of action. As per current commitments, even if Trump were to change his mind and re-engage the US in climate action, the total reduction in global emissions would still warm the planet beyond the 2°C threshold. In Bonn, countries are trying to figure out ways to work together to ensure we don’t cross that threshold.

The Hill:

President Trump is reportedly not invited to the climate change summit that will be held later this year in France.

An official in French President Emmanuel Macron’s cabinet said Trump is “for the time being” not invited to the event in Paris, Reuters reported.

“The United States have a bit of a special status for that summit,” the official said, according to Reuters.

The summit — scheduled for Dec. 12 — will include more than 100 countries and nongovernmental organizations.

The report comes after Trump announced in June he would be withdrawing from the Paris climate change agreement, a pact he denounced as “unfair.”

“The bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States,” Trump said at the time.

The Trump administration filed a formal notice with the United Nations in August that it would be leaving the deal “as soon as it is eligible to do so.” The earliest the U.S. can leave the deal is Nov. 4, 2020.

Trump’s decision was met with widespread criticism. After his announcement, a dozen states and hundreds of cities announced they would uphold the tenants of the climate deal.

 

As climate scientists note below, the existing agreement is not adequate to keep global temperatures below a 2 degree celsius rise, but something to build on.

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