Paris climate accord: Syria ‘to sign up’, isolating US

The US is set to become isolated in its stance on the Paris climate agreement, after reports that Syria is preparing to join the deal.

The Paris deal unites the world’s nations in tackling climate change.

Syria and Nicaragua were the only nations outside the deal when it was agreed in 2015. Nicaragua signed in October.

In June the US said it would withdraw, but the rules of the agreement state that this cannot be done until 2020.

Syrian officials at climate talks in Bonn, Germany, were quoted as saying the country was about to send the UN its ratification documents.

Correspondents say Syria was effectively an international pariah when the accord was first signed, and the Paris meetings coincided with some of the fiercest fighting in Syria’s civil war, meaning the country was in no position to sign.

Announcing the US decision in June, President Donald Trump said it was part of his “solemn duty to protect America” and he would seek a new deal that would not disadvantage US businesses.

However, the US more recently has hinted that it may shift its position on withdrawing from the deal.

Scientists point out that work to implement the Paris accord must be stepped up if it is to have any chance of success.

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