PANAMA CITY – The president of the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (Parlatino), Panama’s Elias Castillo, said on Thursday that the shift in US environmental policy is “worrying” and the world is “eager” to hear the alternative Washington will propose to the Paris Accord.
“The failure of the US to sign the Kyoto Protocol and the announcement of its unilateral withdrawal from the Paris Accord are worrying. Also, the proposal that country may make for a new global accord on the matter is generating expectation,” Castillo said during the inauguration of a forum on renewable energy.
President Donald Trump announced on June 1 that he was withdrawing the US from the Paris Accord, adopted by almost 200 countries in 2015, using the argument that the pact puts the US economy and its workers at a “permanent disadvantage.”
Trump, during the announcement, left the door open for the country to rejoin the climate accord in the future or to renegotiate another “better” and “fairer” agreement for the US.
“We are certainly going to comply with the accord and we’re going to honor our countries’ word because we have a commitment to the future,” said the Mexican senator and president of the Parlamentarios por las Americas organization, Marcela Guerra.
Guerra urged the region to develop renewable energy alternatives because they will help countries comply with the requirements of the pact and because, in addition, “they are a viable proposal to guarantee universal access to electricity services and reduce the challenges in the area of energy security.”
“Climate change doesn’t distinguish among social sectors, it doesn’t distinguish among nations, creeds or prayers,” Cuban deputy Rolando Gonzalez said during the inauguration of the 2nd meeting of the Parliamentary Network on Climate Change, which will run through Friday.
The Paris Accord, which seeks to ensure that average global temperature rise by the end of this century will be no more than 2 degrees C (about 3.6 degrees F), entered into force in November 2016 and replaces the Kyoto Protocol, which established emissions targets only for developed nations, one of the reasons that Trump decided not to participate in the pact.
The US will officially withdraw from the agreement on Nov. 4, 2020, the day after that year’s presidential election, and – if it does so – will join Nicaragua and Syria as the only two nations that have not signed the pact.
Parlatino, founded in 1964 in Lima and based in Panama, is comprised of representatives of the national parliaments of 23 Western Hemisphere nations.