United States mocks Syria joining climate deal

Bonn talks Developing world chides developed countries for failing to deliver on climate goals

Patrik Stollarz AFP

"I would like to affirm the Syrian Arab Republic's commitment to the Paris climate change accord", deputy Environment Minister Wadah Katmawi told a meeting of nearly 200 nations at the November 6-17 climate talks in Bonn, Germany.

Trump said the United States, the second largest producer of greenhouse gases after China, would stay withdrawn unless the agreement could be renegotiated.

Syria had earlier told United Nations climate talks in Bonn that it will become the 197th country to join the accord, making President Donald Trump's government the only one planning to pull out.

"We need everybody on board", Ronald Jumeau of the Seychelles said.

The United Nations welcomed Syria's statement as a declaration of intent to adhere to the Paris pact.

Sarah Baashan, a Saudi diplomat chairing the meeting at which Syria spoke, told the session that she welcomed the "good news".

"I find it ironic that the government of Syria, OK, would say that it wants to be involved, and that it cares so much about climate and things like Carbon dioxide gas", she told reporters.

Camilla Born, of the E3G think-tank, said the Paris Agreement was now a victim of its own success.

Washington still has a seat at the table in Bonn because the rules mean a formal pull out can only take effect in 2020.

The U.S. has become the only nation in the world to not participate in the Paris Climate Accord, an worldwide agreement to voluntarily lower carbon emissions in an effort to curb rising global temperatures.

"I would ask Donald Trump, does he think that [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping], [France's] President [Emmanuel] Macron - that the Prime Minister of Great Britain [Theresa May], the Chancellor of Germany [Angela Merkel] - don't know what they're talking about?"

"Nations that are entering the phase of post-war recovery - as my nation has seen a war that was oppressive upon it - should be given the priority in reconstruction and reorganizing the environment and climate", he said.

Additionally, French authorities said President Donald Trump is not among more than 100 world leaders invited to Paris for a climate summit next month.

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