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COP23

Syria set to sign Paris climate deal, leaving US isolated

A spokeswomen for the Syrian delegation to COP23 has said the country is ready to join the Paris accord. This would make the United States the only country that's not a part of the global climate pact.

Syria plans to join the Paris Climate Agreement, attendees of the UN climate conference COP23 in Bonn said, the Associated Press news agency reports.

A spokeswoman for the Syrian delegation said her country planned to sign up for the pact that seeks to limit global warming to maximum 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Yara Hazzory, of Syria's Ministry of Local Administration and Environment, told DW that the wheels are already in motion.

"Syria has completed the local procedures to join the Paris Agreement," Hazzory told DW. "The instrument of accession will be deposit soon to Secretary-General of the United Nations," she added.

News that Syria would sign up unfolded over the course of the day.

"It is our assumption that today the government of Syria announced its intention to ratify the Paris Agreement," Nick Nuttall, spokesman for the UN Climate Change Secretariat, which is organizing COP23, told DW.

"The Syrian delegate asked for the papers required to join the climate agreement at the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA)," Sabine Minninger, a climate expert for German protestant relief agency Bread for the World, told DW. 

Minninger was at the APA meeting and heard the Syrian delegate request the papers. 

"We're very pleased that Syria (even at COP23) announced its intention to join the Paris Climate Agreement," Minninger said in a Bread for the World statement. "The world is showing unity in the face of devastating climate change. With this news, US President Donald Trump's government is irrevocably and completely isolated on the stage of climate policy."

The step would leave the United States as the only country in the world that's not part of the Paris Agreement. US President Donald Trump had announced in June that his country would withdraw from the accord.

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