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  • A Nicaraguan fisherman is pictured next to a lake.

    A Nicaraguan fisherman is pictured next to a lake. | Photo: AFP

Ortega said he made the decision as a sign of solidarity with other countries suffering from the effects of climate change.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced Tuesday that his country would “soon” sign the U.N. Paris Climate Accords. 

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It now joins the other 195 countries who signed the legal agreement in December. 2015 in Paris to keep global warming from rising 2 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial Era temperatures.

This leaves the United States and Syria as the only countries to not sign the accords.

Ortega said he made the decision as a sign of solidarity with other countries suffering from the effects of climate change. As late as June, the president publicly criticized the agreement, saying he wouldn’t sign because it was “too weak” and that larger, industrial economies aren’t doing enough to reduce their fossil fuel usage. 

At that time, Dr. Paul Oquist, a public policy advisor to Ortega, told Democracy Now that “Nicaragua accounts for 4.8 million tons of fuel emissions each year,” which is 0.03 percent of all global emissions. 

“Are we (Nicaragua) responsible for having made climate change? No. Not at all,” he added. 

Though Ortega is agreeing to sign the Paris Climate Accords, he reiterated that the agreement is still “weak” and said that Nicaragua is “undeniably working to defend the environment.”

While Nicaragua is the fourth-most climate change vulnerable country, according to the 2014 Global Climate Risk Index, it creates nearly 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources. The government promises to get 90 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020.

Ortega’s administration hasn’t yet set a date for when he will sign the 2015 climate accords.

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