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09 November 2017, 12:22 | Bernice Figueroa
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The attendees of the United Nations (UN) climate talks yesterday (Nov 7) witnessed a historical moment when Syria announced that it will become a signatory of the Paris Climate Agreement - subsequently isolating the United States, who abandoned the framework that was created to tackle climate change in June of this year.
Syria was the last United Nations member state not to have signed the accord after Nicaragua did so last month.
US President Donald Trump, who has expressed doubts that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the prime cause of global warming, announced in June that he meant to pull out and instead promote US coal and oil industries. Not all signatories have ratified the treaty yet.
A statement from the State Department this summer saying that the US had submitted its withdrawal request said the delegations would be sent to "ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration".
In an address to delegates at a global climate meeting in Bonn, Germany, Syria's deputy minister of local administration and environment, M. Wadah Katmawi, said his country would join the Paris deal "as soon as possible".
Overall, the Paris agreement seeks to limit a rise in temperatures to "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, ideally 1.5.
The government of Syrian President Bashar Assad has been criticized by much of the global community for alleged war crimes committed by government forces since the conflict began in 2011.
On the same day that Syria announced its inclusion in the climate agreement, French authorities disclosed that Trump would not be invited to the global summit "Make Our Planet Great Again".
The UN is hosting the COP23 climate change conference this week in Bonn, Germany.
"If the government of Syria cared so much about what was put in the air, then it wouldn't be gassing its own people", she said, referring to the Damascus regime's brutal civil war tactics. "We want the United States in too". "So everyone has joined and the U.S.is now so isolated".
While the Obama administration initially signed on to the agreement in December 2015, President Trump voiced plans to leave it this June, claiming that switching over to clean energy will hurt the USA economy.
France co-organizes the summit with the United Nations and the World Bank.
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