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Politics

US exit from Paris deal marks end of influence in South Pacific

For island states, climate pact is a matter of life and death

| Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands
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A boy stands on top of a seawall near the village of Tangintebu on South Tarawa in Kiribati.   © Reuters

President Donald Trump has unapologetically withdrawn from the Paris Agreement on climate change. Consequently, the U.S. joins only Syria and Nicaragua as a non-signatory to the treaty. Syria is amidst a horrific civil war and sanctions mean it is hard for many government officials to travel. Nicaragua refused to sign because, as a developing country listed as fourth most affected by extreme weather events, it felt the deal did not go far enough. It took the moral position that it could not be a signatory to an agreement that would not do enough to lower global temperature increases.

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