Syria is set to become the final country to sign up to the Paris Agreement, the world’s first comprehensive treaty on tackling climate change.
The move by the war-torn nation, which comes after Nicaragua ratified the agreement in October, means that all United Nations member states will have joined up to the deal.
And it leaves President Donald Trump “isolated” in his intention to pull the US out of the agreement.
At the latest annual UN climate talks being hosted by Fiji in Bonn, Germany, a member of the Syrian delegation told fellow negotiators the accord would be signed “as soon as possible”.
The agreement, secured in the French capital in December 2015, commits countries to holding global temperature rises to “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels, requiring emissions to be cut to net zero by the second half of the century.
Scientists have warned a failure to curb dangerous climate change will lead to sea level rises, more extreme storms and flooding, droughts and heatwaves and a reduction in crop yields, potentially sparking conflict and mass migration.
Christian Aid’s international climate lead, Mohamed Adow, said: “The fact that Syria is to ratify the Paris Agreement means it is now just one country, America, that is out in the cold on climate change.
“Like the playground bully that eventually loses all his friends, Donald Trump has isolated himself on the world stage.
“When even Syria, with all its problems, can see the sense of a global climate agreement it really shows how ideologically wedded to climate denialism the US
Republican Party has become,” he said, labelling the US move as “irresponsible”.
Paula Caballero, global director of the climate programme at the World Resources Institute, said: “With Syria on board, now the entire world is resolutely committed to advancing climate action – all save one country.
“This should make the Trump administration pause and reflect on their ill-advised announcement about withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.”
Jordan-based Safa Al Jayoussi, executive director of environmental organisation IndyAct, said: “They are the very last country to declare they are joining the Paris Agreement, and the last Arab country.”
All 22 countries in the Arab region had signed and ratified the agreement or were in the process of doing so, she said, adding: “It only shows how urgent are the climate change impacts on the region.”
And she said is showed how isolated Mr Trump was in his plans to withdraw from or renegotiate the Paris Agreement.
“There’s no excuse for renegotiation if all the countries are in this. This only puts the US in an isolated place,” she said.
Although Mr Trump announced his intention to abandon the Paris Agreement in June, the US cannot give notice it is quitting the deal until three years after it came into force for the country, and it then takes another year to leave.
This means the US, the second biggest polluter after China, will not formally have left the deal until 2020.
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