South Africa asks US president Donald Trump to reconsider his Paris Agreement decision

Johannesburg: South Africa has appealed to US president Donald Trump to reconsider his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, saying the move is "an abdication" by the US from the global responsibility towards humankind.

File image of US President Donald Trump. AP

File image of  Donald Trump. AP

"The Paris Agreement represents the most flexible and dynamic approach to addressing climate change, and the withdrawal of the USA is not only an abdication of global responsibility we all have to humankind, but damaging to multilateralism, the rule of law and trust between nations," Department of Environmental Affairs said in a statement on Friday.

"The international community regards climate change as the single biggest threat to well being, health and socio-economic development facing humanity this century," it said.

"Its impacts are widespread, unprecedented and disproportionately burdens to the poorest and most vulnerable. South Africa therefore expresses its profound regret over the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which reflects the multilateral agreement to keep global temperature increase to well below two degrees Celsius," the statement said.

The ministry said that historically, the US had contributed significantly to global emissions, and therefore had a moral obligation not only to lead in reducing emissions, but to support poorer economies in contributing to the global effort.

It also rejected the suggestion by Trump of renegotiating the agreement.

"The global effort to curb climate change and address its impacts cannot be postponed. There is an urgent need for action, and as such there is no space for renegotiation," the ministry said.

Published Date: Jun 03, 2017 07:58 pm | Updated Date: Jun 03, 2017 07:58 pm

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