The Central American country of Nicaragua and war-torn Syria have joined the rest of the world’s nations in agreeing to sign onto the Paris climate accord, as the world’s nations meet in Bohn, Germany, for the world’s largest climate summit. These two new inclusions to the accord leave the United States as the sole hold-out on the agreement, after President Donald J. Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the accord last June.

President Daniel Ortega announced that Nicaragua would join the deal on September 20: "We have to be in solidarity with this large number of countries that are the first victims, who are already the victims and are the ones who will continue to suffer the impact of these disasters."
read more

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has signed a new directive that prevents scientists that are receiving grants from the EPA from serving on the agency’s advisory committees. Pruitt says that this unprecedented move is to remove what he perceives to be a potential bias from the committees, stating that the members of three key EPA boards — the Science Advisory Board, Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, and Board of Scientific Counselors — have received an estimated $77 million in agency funding. The move was quickly criticized by scientists and environmentalists as one that would bar the country’s most qualified scientists from these committees, and at the same time leave the door open for Pruitt to appoint industry-friendly members to advise the more