Africa Group Reacts to US Decision to Withdraw from Paris Agreement Top story

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In short
Chair of the LDC group, Gebru Jember Endalew in a statement issued on Friday said it was deeply disappointing to see the US shirking its responsibilities as a member of the global community. Endalew said they were already seeing the impacts of climate change with record droughts, flooding and heat waves recently faced around the world.

The Least Developed Countries (LDC) group, representing nearly one billion people in the 48 poorest countries including Uganda has expressed disappointment over plans by United States government to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

US President, Donald Trump on Thursday announced that he had decided to pull out of the landmark climate deal, in part , because it would not reduce global temperatures fast enough to have a significant impact.

Chair of the LDC group, Gebru Jember Endalew in a statement issued on Friday said it was deeply disappointing to see the US shirking its responsibilities as a member of the global community. Endalew said they were already seeing the impacts of climate change with record droughts, flooding and heat waves recently faced around the world.

 He said by refusing to commit to the ambitious action on climate change, President Trump is showing disregard for the lives of millions of people around the world.

Endalew however emphasized that global climate momentum will continue with or without the United States. The US had in the past not been a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol that has been replaced by the Paris Agreement in which it played a role in negotiating.

Endalew said in Paris, the world united with a call for climate action and the wave of momentum now behind the Agreement cannot be slowed by one country deciding to sit on the sidelines. He notes that many countries have taken up the mantle of global climate leadership through ambitious climate policies and innovation, and that the US has lost a seat at this table

"The international community won't wait for the US to catch up. Transformations in technology, consumption patterns and demand for clean, green innovations are charging ahead of political will around the world," Endalew said.

He added that countries are learning that taking advantage of these innovations is not only smart for the climate, but smart for the economy and joining the transition to a green economy means embracing business opportunities that are beneficial for all.

President Trump continues to face criticism mainly from Civil Society, social movements other than the LDC group.

UN spokesperson Stephanie Dujarric stated earlier today that the decision by the United States to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change is a major disappointment for global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote global security.
 
//Cue in; "The Paris agreement…
Cue out…..our grand children depend."//

Lidy Nacpil, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development said the US pull-out reveals utter disregard for the fate of humanity in favor of continued hegemony of U.S. elites and big corporate interests.

Mithika Mwenda, Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) said "Trump's erroneous and embarrassing decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement - proves more than ever that, communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis are the ones to lead us toward a renewable and regenerative future".
 
Mithika vowed that they will continue to organize for climate justice and stand in solidarity with their international allies who are fighting for survival, resisting extraction, and creating solutions from the ground up.

China and the European Union joined the civil society and social movements when they on Friday pledged unity in fighting global warming.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and top EU officials agreed in  a joint statement, backed by all 28 EU states, committing the European Union and China to full implementation of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

The joint statement, the first between the China and the EU, commits them to cutting back on fossil fuels, developing more green technology and helping raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer countries cut their emissions.