[UPDATE: On November 7, 2017, Syria said it would also sign the Paris accord leaving the US as the only holdout.]
Nicaragua has agreed to sign on to the Paris accord on climate change, leaving the US and Syria as the only two nations on the planet who are not signatories. Nicaragua held out for so long for reasons opposite to that of the US, in that it felt that the accord did not go far enough in protecting the environment. The reasons for Syria’s abstention have not been made clear.
Remember how the Reagan administration painted Nicaragua as a major threat of invading and occupying the US that required combating with a vicious and murderous counter-insurgency? It is now emerging as a world leader in sustainable energy usage.
Nicaragua has no oil and vigorously pursues green energy policies – more than 50% of its electricity is produced by geothermic, wind, solar, biomass and wave power. It is a country that is believed to be especially at risk from climate change.
The World Bank described the central American country as “a renewable energy paradise” in 2013.
Currently Puerto Rica remains devastated as a result of the hurricanes it experienced, with its power system largely destroyed. It struck me that rather than rebuilding something similar to the old system, the island could leap-frog ahead of the rest of the world by putting in a state-of-the-art solar and other sustainable energy power grid plus an extensive broadband network to cover the entire island, along the lines suggested by Elon Musk and Richard Branson. That would create a powerful engine for future growth.
Of course, that would require a commitment on the part of the federal government. But given that this administrations sees the people of the island as second-class citizens, that is unlikely to happen. Instead, what we are likely to see is that cronies of Donald Trump are going to use the rebuilding of Puerto Rico as yet another looting opportunity.