The UN climate change summit, COP22, ended in the Moroccan city of Marrakech on Friday with a call from delegates to the US president-elect Donald Trump to join the battle against global warming.
Delegates at the summit which sought to firm up the implementation of the Paris agreement also urged Trump to consider the impact of global warming on the Pacific islands.
The two-week summit was dominated by concern of a possible exit of the US from the Paris deal following the surprise election victory of Donald Trump.
Trump who has openly denounced climate change as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese has said he would revive America’s coal industry and pull out of the Paris agreement.
The countries who attended the summit have however said they would forge ahead no matter what.
Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister and COP22 president Salaheddine Mezouar said the message to “the new American president is simply to say ‘we count on your pragmatism and your spirit of commitment‘”.
The international community he said was “engaged in a great struggle for the future of our planet, for the future of humanity, for the dignity of millions and millions of people”.
“The expectation” he added “is clear, we continue the path, we continue to chart our course, we have absolutely no doubt about the spirit of pragmatism of president Donald Trump but also of the commitment that has been made by all the American people”.
Whereas some delegates at the UN summit hoped Trump did not mean what he said during his campaign, many have decided to adopt a wait-and-see approach while yet others have appealed to him directly to change his mind about the issue.
Frank Bainimarama, prime minister of Fiji, hosts of COP23 next year, said: “I renew my offer to president-elect Trump to come to Fiji and see the effects of climate change.
Small island nations are among the strongest advocates for sharp cuts in greenhouse gas emissions because they fear their survival depends on it, reports the Associated Press.
Many of them are already experiencing the effects of climate change with rising seas eroding their coastlines and intruding into their freshwater supply.
The Paris agreement commits the international community to reducing global temperatures to below two degree Celsius as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Global temperatures are said to have hit a record high between January and October this year making it the warmest period since 1880.