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Nicaragua, U.S. Far Apart on Climate Change Despite Similar Positions on Paris Accord

LADB Article ID: 80347
Category/Department: Nicaragua
Date: 2017-07-13
By: Benjamin Witte-Lebhar

US President Donald Trump’s deeply controversial decision last month to break rank with more than 190 nations and pull out of the 2015 Paris climate accord turned new attention, incidentally, to a country that refused to join the agreement in the first place: Nicaragua. For some critics of Trump’s move, the fact that it aligns the US, in a sense, with Nicaragua and with Syria—the only other country absent from the Paris accord—demonstrates just how disastrous the decision was. Syria, with its cruel dictatorship and gruesome civil war, and Nicaragua, with its long history of poverty and less-than-stellar democratic reputation under long-serving leader Daniel Ortega, are countries very much on the periphery—“rogue nations,’’ the logic holds. Certainly not the kind of company the US, an economic and military superpower that considers itself a beacon of democracy, should be keeping. The Ortega government’s representative in Paris, Paul Oquist, has never said that climate change is a “hoax,” to borrow a word used on occasion by President Trump. Nor did he suggest, as does the US president, that the Paris accord would burden his country economically, that it would somehow hold Nicaragua back from being “great again.” Nicaragua objected to the deal instead because the agreement doesn’t go far enough toward containing climate change.

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