PRETORIA, South Africa profoundly regrets President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, a multilateral accord designed to keep the global temperature increase to well below two degrees Celsius.

In a statement, the Department of Environmental Affairs said on Friday South Africa has called on the United States to reconsider its position and to recommit to the multilateral process.

'The international community regards climate change as the single biggest threat to well-being, health and socio-economic development facing humanity this century. Its impacts are widespread, unprecedented and disproportionately burdens to the poorest and most vulnerable,' the department added.

It recalled that the adoption of the Paris Agreement, 15 years after the withdrawal of the United States from the Kyoto Protocol, is a victory for the multilateral effort to curb climate change.

The Agreement entered into a force far earlier than expected due to the extraordinary speed of ratification by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, including the United States, and reflects the scientific consensus on the severity of the crisis.

The Paris Agreement, which will be fully operational by 2020, is premised on contributions determined by countries themselves, towards collectively agreed global goals.

South Africa has full confidence in and reiterates its unwavering commitment to the realisation of the goals set out in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement, the statement concluded.


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