Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced Monday that his country would join the Paris climate agreement to show solidarity for those affected by hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria.
Nicaragua did not join the Paris climate conference in 2015. Nicaraguan officials argued that the deal’s voluntary commitments were “a path to failure.” Ortega’s decision makes war-torn Syria the only other nation not to join the deal.
“We have to show solidarity with this large number of countries that are the first victims, that are already victims and who will continue to suffer the impact of these disasters: countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, those in highly vulnerable areas,” Ortega said, according to local Nicaraguan reports.
Ortega believes the voluntary nature of the agreement is “a declaration, a proclamation” because it does not bind nations to their promises.
Part of the issue is that one of the largest polluters in the world, China, has not technically pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. China only promised to “peak” emissions by 2030, meaning that the communist country will continue increasing emissions in absolute terms during that time.
China had already cut emissions per unit of output nearly 34 percent below 2005 levels before Paris went into effect in 2016. What’s interesting is its output pledge is only half the rate of reductions in recent years.
China’s emissions are expected to grow nearly 32 percent during the next two decades, according to projections from the Energy Information Administration. The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate projected Chinese emissions increasing 34 percent over 2012 levels by 2030.
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