Nicaragua became the latest country to sign the Paris Climate Agreement, leaving the United States and Syria as the only countries who are not participating in the deal.

Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega had refused to sign the agreement last year, saying it did not go far enough to tackle the problem of global warming, the Independent reported.

But it now seems like the country is prepared to present a united front with the rest of the world when it comes to climate action.

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El Nuevo Diario reported that back in September, President Ortega said, “We will soon adhere, we will sign the Paris Agreement. We have already had meetings addressing the issue and we have already programmed the accession.”

The Paris Climate Agreement aims to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius from 1990 levels. It’s an entirely voluntary agreement and when it was reached in 2015, Nicaragua and Syria were the only two countries that had refused to join.

But earlier this year, the US announced that it will be withdrawing from the agreement, prompting outcries from around the world.

US President Donald Trump said it would cost America money, while putting steel and coal workers, and other manufacturing industries, at an economic disadvantage.

The US is the second largest greenhouse gas producer worldwide after China, but it has emitted the most aggregate emissions in history. Nicaragua, on the other hand, is already a “haven for renewable energy,” with its high exposure to sun and wind, according to a 2013 World Bank study. Renewables already count for 58% of the country’s energy.  

Now, Nicaragua is adding its efforts to the global call to reduce high levels of pollution that threaten the planet, Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo said in a joint statement with President Ortega, according to the New York Times.

“It is the only instrument we have in the world that allows the unity of intentions and efforts to face up to climate change and natural disasters,” Vice President Murillo said on local radio on Monday, the Huffington Post reported.


Defend the Planet

Nicaragua Joins Paris Climate Agreement, Leaving US and Syria As Outliers

By Carlotta Mohamed