Syria just announced that it intends to sign the Paris agreement, which is a landmark deal asking almost 200 countries from all parts of the globe to commit in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to fight global warming. Nicaragua also joined the deal a month ago, leaving the US as the only nation in the world to reject it.
On June, president Donald Trump withdrew the entire country from the climate accord because he thinks that the agreement is not "fair" to the US. Other countries that joined the deal such as Italy, Germany, and France said that it’s impossible to change the deal just to accommodate the US. The Trump administration had been taking steps in order to roll back all of the regulations passed under Barack Obama, the former US President, to achieve the goals on emissions reduction set by the Paris deal. It's important to note that USA and China are two of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases.
Reached during the last months of 2015, experts say that the Paris deal is among the most comprehensive agreements on climate change that had ever been passed. It's also notable for the fact that China and other countries that pollute heavily have signed the climate deal. Syria and Nicaragua did not sign the agreement at that time. According to Nicaragua, the agreement was not ambitious enough. Fortunately, the country reversed its course a month ago and decided that it'd sign the agreement anyway as it's the only instrument which allows unity of efforts and intentions.
As for Syria, it did not join the agreement initially because it had been focusing and dealing with a civil war that started many years ago. Syria’s government is under American and European sanctions, which means it could not send representatives overseas to sign or negotiate the agreement, as reported by the New York Times. However, today, during the climate talk of the United Nations, the country announced that it wants to sign the deal. As of now, it’s still unclear what has changed and the country still needs to submit targets to cut greenhouse gases.
With Syria’s decision, it's now evident that the global community has a relentless commitment to deliver on the agreement. According to the World Resources Institute's climate change program director, Paula Caballero, the stark isolation of the US should give president Trump a good reason to reconsider the announcement that he made which was objectively ill-advised.
"The US president should join everyone else in the world in battling climate change," exclaimed Caballero.
The signing of Nicaragua and Syria is symbolically significant because they only emit a small portion of greenhouse gases especially when you compare it to the US. President Trump may have rejected the deal, but he sent the UN Conference on Climate Change a delegation. The goal of the Trump administration is to convince the people that the best solution to climate change is in burning coal.