Nicaragua, Syria, and now the United States are the only three countries to refuse to be part of the Paris Agreement
The decision of president Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement (PA) put the United States in the same category as two other nations, out of the 197 participating parties, that are not part of the Agreement: Nicaragua and Syria. Nevertheless, it is important to learn the reasons behind the decision of these two countries to leave the Paris accord.
Nicaragua’s reason for refusing to partake in the agreement is related to its scope, stating it does not go far enough. According to Pau Oquist, who represented the Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega during the negotiations, stated that “the agreed-upon plan depends on voluntary pledges and would not punish those who failed to meet them”. To this, he added that rich countries who are the major contributors of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) were not penalized as they should.
Nicaragua’s position shows a sharp contrast to Donald Trump’s speech. The United States’ president stated that the PA was a harmful deal to his nation and would benefit others in the process.
In the case of Syria, they were unable to join the Paris Agreement because of an ongoing civil war that begun back in 2011. The conflict has torn the country apart with accusation of human rights violations from both sides. As a result of the conflict, the Assad government was forced to abandon the accord as they were incapable to commit to limit the nation’s GHG emissions.
Although it is an understandable decision taken by the Syrian government, it is also important to mention that other isolated countries like North Korea or nations in constant turmoil like Iraq and Yemen have committed to the Paris Agreement.
Since June 1st, the U.S. joined Nicaragua and Syria as the only three parties to refuse to continue in the PA. Although they are being categorized into the same group, the reason behind their decision are far from similar. Now, considering the U.S. take on GHG emissions, Donald Trump’s decision may cause irreparable damage against the worldwide effort to fight climate change.
LatinAmerican Post | Laura Iguavita
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto