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Nicaragua To Sign Paris Accord, U.S. And Syria Left Out

Nicaragua To Sign Paris Accord, U.S. And Syria Left Out Promo Image

Nicaragua has announced its intention to adopt the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to comments from the country's president, Daniel Ortega.

The move would leave the U.S. and Syria as the only two countries in the world outside of the deal, Bloomberg reports.

Ortega said Nicaragua would adopt the agreement "soon." Bloomberg's attempt to reach the Nicaraguan embassy for comment was unsuccessful.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on June 1 that he was withdrawing from the deal because it imposed too many restrictions on U.S. companies. His supporters welcomed the decision, but Democrats and environmental campaigners sharply criticized the move.

"Getting out of Paris is completely contrived and an extremely damaging step," former Secretary of State John Kerry told Rolling Stone Magazine on Sept. 19. "It doesn't put America first, it puts America last."

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Kerry, who was part of the U.S. delegation that reached the deal in Paris, argued that Trump's decision would make it harder for American companies to do business in the renewable energy market.

"It makes America walk away from the leadership that we have shown for years now," Kerry added. "The Paris agreement was not some overnight back-room move on a real estate action. It was ten years in the making, enormously hard to get at, a product of a major diplomatic effort, and he's just walking away from that."

The White House has indicated Trump would be open to renegotiating the deal, but experts say it is unlikely he will reverse his decision to abandon Paris, CNBC notes.

But speculation that Washington could decide to remain part of the deal has increased following a series of comments by Trump administration officials.

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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted on Sept. 16, "...[Trump] has been clear, US withdrawing unless we get pro-America terms."

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told CBS News on Sept. 17 that the U.S. could remain in the deal "under the right conditions."

Divisions have been reported within the Trump administration, with Tillerson and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn allegedly in favor of remaining party to the agreement. Meanwhile, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt reportedly opposes the deal.

The White House has already abolished many climate change initiatives adopted by the Obama administration.

"The president has spoken, but he hasn't enforced discipline, and so I think we will continue to see these outbreaks until he does," Myron Ebell, a climate science skeptic and head of the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, told CNBC.

Representatives from 195 nations reached the landmark Paris Agreement at a conference in the French capital in December 2015, according to The New York Times.

Sources: Bloomberg, Rolling Stone, CNBC, The New York Times, Sarah Huckabee Sanders/TwitterCBS News / Featured Image: Fernanda LeMarie/Cancilleria del Ecuador/Flickr / Embedded Images: US Department of State/Flickr, Michael Vadon/Flickr

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