Only U.S. and Syria Now Oppose Paris Climate Deal, as Nicaragua Joins:

Only U.S. and Syria Now Oppose Paris Climate Deal, as Nicaragua Joins:

President Trump announced in June that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord.CreditAl Drago/The New York Times

And then there were two.

Nicaragua has announced that it will join the Paris climate accord, leaving only two countries that have either not joined the deal or signaled their plans to leave it: Syria and the United States.

The deal, reached in December 2015 under President Barack Obama, was a major diplomatic achievement for him, committing almost every country in the world — 195 in all — to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, a leading cause of climate change. It was the first agreement of its kind.

But, in June, President Trump said in a Rose Garden speech that the United States would withdraw from the accord, fulfilling one of his frequently repeated campaign promises. Mr. Trump had long argued that the agreement was excessively onerous and hampered American businesses.

Nicaragua, however, was critical of the deal as insufficiently ambitious. In a 2015 interview with the news program Democracy Now, Paul Oquist, Nicaragua’s chief climate negotiator, said the accord would not do enough to avert a potential temperature increase of three degrees Celsius.

Mr. Oquist also derided the deal’s requirement that all countries, rich and poor, reduce emissions as “a spin on historical responsibility, because everyone didn’t create this problem.”

Nicaragua has now said, however, that it will endorse the deal.

Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s president, and his vice president and wife, Rosario Murillo, said in a joint statement emailed by Nicaragua’s embassy in Washington that the “vast majority of both developed and developing states have undertaken the commitment to join and multiply efforts in the face of increasing natural disasters with high costs, loss of life and increasing material damages.”

“In the same way, we join efforts to stop and reduce the high levels of pollution that poison the planet,” they added.

Mr. Ortega and Ms. Murillo referenced Mr. Oquist’s concerns in their statement, calling them “clearly explained and substantiated.” But they said “the Paris Agreement, despite not being the ideal agreement, is the only instrument that currently allows this unity of intentions and efforts.”

The decision was originally announced on Friday by Mr. Ortega, but received greater attention after Ms. Murillo spoke about it during a local radio interview on Monday, according to Reuters.

Despite its widespread adoption, the future of the Paris accord has been thrown into doubt by the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw. White House officials are set to travel to Germany next month for United Nations climate change discussions, effectively putting them in the position of negotiating a deal they have said they are leaving.

Under the terms of the agreement, the soonest any country can withdrawfrom the pact is Nov. 4, 2020. That is less than three months before the end of Mr. Trump’s current term in office. The White House has said that it will abide by those terms.

In September, the White House economic adviser Gary D. Cohn told government officials from European countries and from Canada and Japan that the United States would leave the deal unless changes were made. But the officials said Mr. Cohn did not tell them what changes the Trump administration wanted.

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