U.S. alone outside of Paris climate accord as Syria joins

Syria signs Paris climate agreement

Syria announced Tuesday it would sign the Paris climate agreement, leaving the United States as the only country to oppose it.

"Syria's decision shows the breadth of support for the Paris agreement", Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, told Reuters of the moves by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The United Nations welcomed Syria's statement as a declaration of intent to adhere to the Paris pact.

Meanwhile, AFP reported that United Nations spokesman Nick Nuttall confirmed Syria's signing and clarified that Syria is required to submit ratification documents at the United Nations headquarters based in NY. There was no applause, however, at a conference where Assad's government has few allies.

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The US will soon become the only country that opposes the worldwide landmark climate change accord known as the Paris Agreement.

Washington still has a seat at the table in Bonn because the rules mean a formal pullout can only take effect in 2020.

Nauert said that the department's under secretary for political affairs, Tom Shannon, would lead a U.S. delegation to the Bonn talks next week but that Trump's decision would stand.

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David Waskow, of the World Resources Institute think-tank, noted that Trump's climate views had previously isolated him in the Group of Seven and the Group of 20.

"Now he'll be isolated from all nations", he said.

The Bonn talks center on creating worldwide guidelines for implementing the Paris agreement, and includes two different American delegations, one from the administration and one from the "We Are Still In" coalition founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California Gov. The agreement, which officially entered into force in November 2016, aims to keep a global average temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees C and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

At the meeting Monday, the United Nations' weather and climate agency, the World Meteorological Organization, announced 2017 will definitely be among the three hottest years on record.

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The Paris agreement was struck in 2015 under former President Barack Obama and brought almost 200 countries on board to combat greenhouse gas emissions.

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