NOW that Nicaragua and Syria have accepted the Paris climate change agreement it leaves only one country determined to ignore it, possibly to enhance the idiosyncratic nature of Donald Trump.

Second only to China the USA produces just half as much CO2 but with less than a quarter of the population so it’s surprising that the President has reversed important policies, and opened up federal and arctic areas for oil and gas exploration.

As well as encouraging the declining coal industry he has reduced funding for environmental groups and research, encouraged fracking, supported the Canadian Athabasca tar sands and Keystone pipeline development, and removed federal tax credits on wind and solar energy schemes.

However he’s being defiantly challenged by many of the individual states, led by California and those on the north east coast, who know only too well what damage results from rapid climate change. Droughts and wild fires have ravaged California in the last ten years, and it’s not long since hurricane Sandy battered and soaked the New York area.

It’s encouraging that in general many Americans still support the principles expressed at the Paris conference, and some 20 states, 50 of the largest cities and over 60 of the largest businesses are positively committed to making CO2 reduction a priority. They all form part of the American Pledge group.

Walmart stores are festooned with solar panels, though I suspect they’re missing from their Asda outposts in the UK. Additionally renewable energy industries are helping to reverse the fortunes of declining heavy industry towns like Pittsburgh.

This group of committed organisations has an economic production that would place them third behind China and the USA in the CO2 ranking table. Accordingly they must be looking forward to 2020 when the United States should be able to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord as a nation – fingers crossed.