Nicaragua just signed the Paris climate accord, leaving only the US and Syria on the outside

Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega is leaving Donald Trump and Bashar al-Assad in the dust.
Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega is leaving Donald Trump and Bashar al-Assad in the dust.
Image: Reuters/Oswaldo Rivas
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

As expected, Nicaragua has signed on to the Paris climate agreement, which sets a planet-wide goal of keeping the global average temperature well below 2°C above the pre-industrial age. That leaves Syria as the only nation never to have signed on; the US joins war-torn Syria as one of only two nations currently opposed the agreement.

President Donald Trump announced June 1, 2017 that he was pulling the US out of the Paris agreement saying he wanted to renegotiate a better “deal” for the country, and until that happened, his administration would make no effort to meet the voluntary emissions-reductions targets set by the accords.

Nicaragua reportedly did not sign the agreement earlier out of protest that its goals were not ambitious enough to significantly combat global climate change. In particular, the small nation had expressed concern that the signatories to the agreement hadn’t pledged enough emission reductions to actually achieve the goals of the accord.

As Quartz previously reported on Sept. 20, 2017:

“We will soon adhere, we will sign the Paris Agreement,” [president Daniel] Ortega told Nicaraguan newspaper El Nuevo Diario. In 2015, 75% of Nicaragua’s energy already came (pdf, p. 3) from renewable sources, and it aimed to get that up to 90% by 2020 according to the World Bank.

The next round of United Nations climate-change discussions will take place in Bonn, Germany in November 2017. As of now, the Trump White House is planning to send representatives to those talks, presumably to renegotiate the terms of the Paris agreement.