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US And Syria Are Now The Only Nations That Do Not Support The Paris Accord

Nicaragua expressed interest in joining this week.

SCIENCE AF STAFF
3 OCT 2017
 

On Wednesday, Nicaragua expressed interest in joining the Paris Climate Agreement. If the Central American country follows through, the US and Syria will be the only nations left that do not support the accord.

 

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega did not outline exactly when his country would be signing the agreement, but he assured the public it would be "soon".

Nicaragua declined to sign the agreement in 2016 because they believed it did not go far enough to halt emissions. The nation also criticized the agreement for not putting enough financial onus on developed nations, who are responsible for the large majority of carbon emissions.

According to a Reuters report, Nicaragua did not sign the accord because they believed developed nations were "not doing enough to reduce their use of carbon and are not providing sufficient funding to help the developed world adapt to the impact of climate change."

But just because Nicaragua has not signed the agreement, does not mean they are ignoring climate change. In fact, in a lot of ways Nicaragua has taken more steps towards combatting climate change than many of the nations currently included in the accord.

In 2005, the government of Nicaragua made it their mission to harness the bountiful natural energy that their country possesses. Currently, about half of the country's energy needs are met by renewable energy. But Nicaragua isn't stopping there. By 2020, they hope to produce 90 percent of their energy from renewable sources.

Nicaragua is making these profound changes because they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. According to the 2017 Global Climate Risk Index, Nicaragua is the fourth-most at-risk nation in the world due to changing climates — behind only Honduras, Burma and Haiti.

If Nicaragua fulfils their promise and signs the agreement Syria will be the only nation that has not signed. And it really is no surprise that Syria has not signed the agreement. Currently, the Syrian nation is embroiled in a bloody civil war, and it is unlikely that climate change will be a priority for them.

But the US has no such excuse. Even though we produce the majority of emissions (second only to China), President Trump is the only world leader who rejects the scientific consensus on climate change.