The US is now the only country in the world not on board with the Paris agreement

  • Syria, the world’s last holdout, just announced it will join the Paris agreement.
  • The agreement set a goal to keep global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius.
  • The US is now alone in rejecting the historic climate accord.

The United States is about to become the only country in the world not on board with the Paris Agreement.

Syria, the world’s last holdout, announced it would sign up to the 2015 climate accord, delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, also known as COP23, said Tuesday.

The US and Syria, a country that’s been entrenched in a bloody civil war for over six years, were the only countries left that refused to be a part of the 2015 agreement. The US signed the agreement under President Obama in December 2015, alongside 194 other nations. But the Trump administration has pledged withdraw the US from the accord.

The Paris agreement set a goal to keep the planet from warming by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels, with 2 degrees Celsius as the upper limit for global temperature rise.

Nicaragua initially rejected the agreement because the country’s government thought it didn’t go far enough, but last month Nicaraguan leaders announced their decision to join.

If the US does withdraw from the agreement, the earliest date it could do so is November 4, 2020 — one day after the next presidential election.

President Trump has said that the deal isn’t “fair” to the US, even though the country has contributed more to climate change than any other nation on the planet. Just last week, federal scientists in the US sounded the alarm once again, releasing an exhaustive report cautioning that global warming is accelerating — and human activity is to blame.

Other countries have reacted negatively to Trump administration’s globally unpopular plan to withdraw: An official in France said that Trump is “for the time being” not being invited to the climate change summit in Paris next month.

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