Syria has decided to sign the Paris agreement on climate change, the world’s final party to do so. The surprise decision, taken at the COP23 climate summit in Bonn, will leave the US as the only country outside the agreement if it follows through on President Donald Trump’s vow to leave.

The move comes on the heels of Nicaragua signing the accord last month.

The Paris climate talks in 2015 “coincided with some of the fiercest fighting in Syria’s civil war”, and international sanctions made it difficult for officials to attend – “meaning the country was in no position to sign” at the time.

White House spokeswoman Kelly Love pointed reporters to a statement the administration made when Nicaragua joined the pact. “As the president previously stated, the United States is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms the are more favourable for our country,” the statement said.

Come on Trump – Really !!

“With the news that Syria has officially joined the Paris climate agreement, the United States, under President Trump, will stand as the lone dissenting country,” writes Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University.

“The problem is that the Republicans who are currently in power in Washington, DC are stuck debating the ‘knowns’,” he says. “They have grown more intransigent, raising questions that were literally answered decades ago.”

“Continuing to argue about what’s causing the planet to warm is the moral equivalent of arguing over whether wood burns while a fire is climbing up out of the basement of your house,” Mann concludes. “It’s time Republicans stop arguing and got out the hoses instead.”

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