Quantcast
Trump Watch

U.S. Now the Only Country Not in Paris Climate Agreement After Syria Signs On

When President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement in June, the U.S. joined Syria and Nicaragua as the only other countries to not agree to the global action plan.

The reasons for the other two holdout countries were fair. Nicaragua's leaders felt the accord was not strong enough to fight climate change. Syria has been embroiled in a full-scale civil war for six years.


But Tuesday, during the COP 23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany, the Syrian government also decided to sign the Paris climate agreement. Nicaragua officially joined the accord late last month.

A Syrian delegate at the Bonn climate talks did not offer an explanation for the government's decision to ratify the pact, the New York Times reported. Syria, which produces only a small percentage of global emissions, has not yet submitted it targets for cutting greenhouse gases.

The U.S., under President Trump, is now completely alone in this global consensus to limit temperature rise to well below 2°C to avoid dangerous climate change.

Under the terms of the Paris agreement, the earliest the U.S. can officially exit the pact is the day after the 2020 election.

"The bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States," Trump said about the Paris withdrawal.

The United States remains firm in its position, according to White House spokeswoman Kelly Love, who pointed reporters to a prior statement the administration issued after Nicaragua joined the pact, the Times reported.

"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.

Trump's controversial decision was met with intense criticism around the world.

"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," Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said in response to Syria's move.

"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. Thankfully, leaders in cities and states around the U.S. are taking action and committing to transitioning to 100 percent clean energy, proving that it's not America that's devoid of leadership, only the White House."

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
Sam Murphy

Got Nondairy Alternative Milk?

By Sam Schipani

More and more, ecologically minded milk consumers are turning to nondairy products to minimize their carbon hoofprints. Sales of almond milk shot up by 250 percent between 2011 and 2016. Meanwhile, consumption of dairy milk has plummeted 37 percent since the 1970s, according to the USDA.

Keep reading... Show less
A burger made with a blend of beef and mushrooms. Mushroom Council

'Blended Burger' Allows a Simple Shift to More Sustainable Eating

By Richard Waite, Daniel Vennard and Gerard Pozzi

Burgers are possibly the most ubiquitous meal on Americans' dinner plates, but they're also among the most resource-intensive: Beef accounts for nearly half of the land use and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the food Americans eat.

Although there's growing interest in plant-based burgers and other alternatives, for the millions of people who still want to order beef, there's a better burger out there: a beef-mushroom blend that maintains, or even enhances, that meaty flavor with significantly less environmental impact.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Old White Truck / Flickr

The Last Straw? EU Official Hints Ban on Single-Use Plastic Across Europe

A top EU official hinted that legislation to cut plastic waste in Europe is coming soon.

Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the European Commission, made the comment after Britain's environment minister Michael Gove, a pro-Brexiter, suggested that staying in the EU would make it harder for the UK to create environmental laws such as banning plastic drinking straws.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Flare from gas well. Ken Doerr / Flickr

Court Orders Trump Administration to Enforce Obama-Era Methane Rule

A federal judge reinstated a widely supported methane waste rule that President Trump's administration has repeatedly tried to stop.

Judge William Orrick of the U.S. District Court for Northern California ruled Thursday that Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) decision to suspend core provisions of the 2016 Methane and Waste Prevention Rule was "untethered to evidence."

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy
On Jan. 24, 2017 President Donald Trump signed a memorandum to expedite the Keystone XL permitting process. Twitter | Donald Trump

Inside the Trump Admin's Fight to Keep the Keystone XL Approval Process Secret

By Steve Horn

At a Feb. 21 hearing, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the Trump administration must either fork over documents showing how the U.S. Department of State reversed an earlier decision and ultimately came to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, or else provide a substantial legal reason for continuing to withhold them. The federal government has an order to deliver the goods, one way or the other, by March 21.

Keep reading... Show less
Health

New Black Lung Epidemic Emerging in Coal Country

In a study released this month by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), federal researchers identified more than 400 cases of complicated black lung in three clinics in southwestern Virginia between 2013 and 2017—the largest cluster ever reported.

However, the actual number of cases is likely much, much higher as the government analysis relied on self-reporting. An ongoing investigation from NPR has counted nearly 2,000 cases diagnosed since 2010 across Appalachia.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy
Dennis Schroeder / NREL

The Facts About Trump’s Solar Tariffs – Who Gets Hurt? Who Gets Helped?

By John Rogers

The solar-related shoe we've been expecting has finally dropped: President Trump recently announced new taxes on imported solar cells and modules. There's plenty of downside to his decision, in terms of solar progress, momentum and jobs. But will it revive U.S. manufacturing?

Keep reading... Show less
Energy

Japan Confirms Oil From the Sanchi Is Washing Up On Its Beaches

By Andy Rowell

The Japanese Coast Guard has confirmed that the oil that is being washed up on islands in the south of the country is "highly likely" to have come from the stricken Iranian tanker, the Sanchi.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!