Reports from the UN climate conference, COP23, currently being held in Bonn, Germany, Syria announced that it will be committing to the Paris Climate Agreement, a move which will leave the United States as the only country to remain unsigned.
The United States was one of the original signees of the Paris Climate Agreement, but as most will remember US President Donald Trump announced in June that he would withdraw the country as a signatory of the historic Agreement. At the time, the United States joined Nicaragua and Syria as the only countries in the world not to have committed to the Agreement.
The United States’ position only got worse in September when, after years of saying the Paris Agreement did not go far enough to combat climate change, Nicaragua committed to signing the Paris Climate Agreement in a move its President said was done to show the country stood in solidarity with countries most vulnerable to climate change.
“We will soon adhere, we will sign the Paris Agreement,” Ortega told official media. “We have already had meetings addressing the issue and we have already programmed the adhesion of Nicaragua and the signing of the Country Agreement.”
Fast forward to the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change — more commonly known as COP23 — and reports circulating on Tuesday revealed that the United States would now stand alone, as Syria announced plans to join the Paris Climate Agreement, nearly two years after it was first hashed out at COP21. Apparently, the war-torn country announced to the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) on Tuesday that it would ratify the Agreement, confirming reports from the Syrian Arab News Agency late last month that lawmakers in the city’s capital, Damascus, “approved a draft law on ratifying Syria’s accession to the Paris Climate Agreement.”
This now leaves the United States as the only country in the world not to have committed to the Agreement — a list which includes current international adversaries such as Russia, North Korea, and now Syria.
However, this does not mean that all of America is hell-bent on ignoring the current climate and environmental realities, as was confirmed late-October when the ‘We Are Still In’ coalition of state governors, mayors, and council members, as well as representatives from college campuses, businesses, and investors, announced its intention to set up a US Climate Action Center and send a US Delegation of Climate Leaders to COP23.
In the end, the only ones to really stand alone on climate action are members of Donald Trump’s Administration and the American Republican Party.