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BREAKING: US Now The Only Country Not in Paris Accord After Syria Joins

And then there was one.

SCIENCE AF STAFF
7 NOV 2017
 

When President Trump first announced his withdrawal from the Paris Accord in June, there were only two other countries that had failed to sign the agreement. Nicaragua had not signed yet because their government did not think the agreement went far enough, and the Syrian government was a little too preoccupied by their gruesome civil war to pay much attention to climate change.

 

Now, things are a little different.

In late October, Nicaragua decided to sign on to the agreement. And on Tuesday, at the COP 23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany, the Syrian government announced their decision to join the accord, too.

"As if it wasn't already crystal clear, every single other country in the world is moving forward together to tackle the climate crisis, while Donald Trump has isolated the United States on the world stage in an embarrassing and dangerous position," said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune.

"Trump's desperate moves to help corporate polluters by refusing to acknowledge the reality of the climate crisis shows that he neither cares about leadership nor does he understand it."

According to the New York Times, the White House re-issued the same statement they made when Nicaragua signed on. 

"As the president previously stated, the United States is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms the are more favorable for our country," the statement said.

Not every country is quite so stubborn.

Nicaragua changed their minds about the agreement last month. In a joint statement, the President and his wife explained that although the agreement was not "ideal", it is "the only instrument that currently allows this unity of intentions and efforts."

 

And on Tuesday, Syria announced their new position in a speech at the climate talks - although the representative offered no explanation for the country's sudden change of heart.

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

"The US's stark isolation should give Trump reason to reconsider his ill-advised announcement and join the rest of the world in tackling climate change."

Luckily, there are a growing number of American cities and states that are stepping up to fill the gaping hole where the federal government should be. According to a growing list on the Sierra Club website, there are 165 mayors that have already made 100 percent renewable energy commitments for their cities.

"Syria's announcement that it will join the Paris Agreement leaves President Trump in not-so-splendid isolation ... ," said director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Alden Meyer.

"Meanwhile, the groundswell of climate action by US governors, mayors, companies and others is providing assurance to the rest of the world that President Trump doesn't speak for most Americans on this issue."

 

In response to the US withdrawal, Governors Andrew Cuomo, Jay Inslee, and Jerry Brown created The United States Climate Alliance. The coalition consists of 14 states plus Puerto Rico. Together, they represent 116 million Americans and approximately 40 percent of U.S. GDP that remain committed to the terms of the Paris agreement.

Before attending the climate talks in Bonn, the alliance released a statement confirming their commitment to the accord.

"Climate change is a global crisis that requires global action, and Americans join the rest of the world in taking critical steps and implementing policies that will meet this challenge together, while ensuring a better economy, better jobs, and a better future for all," the statement read.

"The US Climate Alliance has a message for the world: We are here. We are your allies on climate change."