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Paris Climate Accords: US Notifies UN of Intention to Withdraw

President Donald Trump made this decision because the Paris Agreement unfairly burdens American businesses, workers and taxpayers while giving

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President Donald Trump walks to speak to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Nov. 4, 2019. VOA

The United States announced Monday that it has notified the United Nations that it will begin its withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

“President Donald Trump made this decision because the Paris Agreement unfairly burdens American businesses, workers and taxpayers while giving a free pass to other countries,” a State Department spokesman told VOA.

The United States is second only to China as the top emitter of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

U.S. President Donald Trump campaigned against the U.S. being a part of the Paris deal, though virtually every other country has signed up. Due to a 3-year waiting period since the agreement entered into force, Monday was the first day Washington could formally submit its official notification. It will take an additional year for the U.S. withdrawal to take effect. That date — Nov. 4, 2020 — is the day after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

 

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FILE – Participants and delegate members hold up solar lanterns in honor of the Paris Agreement, during the opening session of the Climate Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, Nov. 7, 2016. VOA

Democrat challengers to Trump do not support the withdrawal, and if one of them wins the presidency, that person could cancel the withdrawal after taking office Jan. 20, 2021.

“As the climate crisis worsens each day and California burns and Iowa floods, Trump continues to abandon science and our international leadership,” tweeted Joe Biden, one of Trump’s main political challengers. “He just notified the United Nations of our official withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. It’s shameful.”

The Paris Agreement aims to keep a global temperature rise this century under 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The deal also seeks to strengthen the ability of countries to respond to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

A U.N. spokesperson confirmed receipt of the U.S. notification and said the U.N. would say something further soon.

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The Trump administration says irrespective of the Paris Agreement, U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13% from 2005 to 2017, while the economy grew over 19%.

On the state and local level, as well as in the private sector, there is still a major drive to respond to climate change in the United States. (VOA)

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London, Paris, Bangkok- Top 3 Travel Destinations in the Past Decade

Bangkok, London, Paris top 3 travel destinations of decade says a new report

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Paris is one among the most travelled cities in the world. Pixabay

While there has been significant movement in visitors to smaller cities, the top 10 have remained largely consistent over the past decade, with London, Paris and Bangkok grabbing the top three spots, according to a new report.

The top three overseas destinations for Indian travellers are Dubai, Singapore and Mecca, revealed the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2019 which ranks 200 cities based on proprietary analysis of publicly available visitor volume and spend data.

Since 2009, the number of international overnight visitors grew an astounding 76 per cent, according to the report.

In 2019, Bangkok became the No. 1 destination for the fourth consecutive year, with more than 22 million international overnight visitors.

Paris and London, in flipped positions this year, hold the No. 2 and 3 spots respectively, both hovering over 19 million.

When looking at the cities by dollars spent, Dubai tops the list with travellers spending $553 on an average per day. Mecca, new to the top 10 last year, remains at No. 2 for the second consecutive year, with Bangkok rounding out the top three.

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Paris and London, in flipped positions this year, hold the No. 2 and 3 spots respectively, both hovering over 19 million. Pixabay

Between all of the destinations within the Index, arrivals have grown on average 6.5 per cent year-over-year since 2009, with expenditure growing on average 7.4 per cent, said the report.

Cities in the Asia-Pacific region have seen the largest increase in international travellers since 2009, growing 9.4 per cent.

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In comparison, Europe, which saw the second highest growth, was up 5.5 per cent.

This is spurred by the growth in Chinese travellers. Since 2009, China has jumped up six places to be the No. 2 origin country for travellers to the 200 included destinations – behind only the US, said the report. (IANS)