Nicaragua to sign Paris deal, leaving US, Syria as only countries opposed

Nicaragua to sign Paris deal, leaving US, Syria as only countries opposed
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The Nicaraguan government is preparing to join the Paris climate agreement, making Syria the only country not to be a party to the deal and the United States the only nation determined to pull out of it.

Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega told local media this week that the country is preparing to sign the deal, under which nations determine individual greenhouse gas reduction plans.

“We will soon adhere, we will sign the Paris Agreement,” he said, according to Nicaraguan newspaper El Nuevo Diario.

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Once Nicaragua signs the climate accord, it will leave Syria, in the midst of a civil war, as the only country not involved in the Paris deal. But the United Staes could join that group as soon as 2020: President Trump has said the accord is a “bad deal” for the U.S. and has filed paperwork with the United Nations to pull out of it within four years.

Trump is also the only world leader not to acknowledge the scientific consensus of climate change, according to a Sierra Club survey last year.

Nicaragua initially resisted the Paris deal because its negotiators said the accord's goals were too weak.

International officials negotiating the deal have enshrined within it a goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius. But the individual greenhouse gas reduction targets in the agreement won’t be enough to reach that mark, and most negotiators consider Paris the first step toward more aggressive decarbonization efforts in the future.

Nicaragua gets more than half its energy from renewable sources, and it’s aiming to produce up to 90 percent renewable power by 2020.