Findings from a new poll indicate that only a third of Americans support President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement and that even fewer are confident that backing away from the accord would be a boon for the economy. The data suggest one of Trump's most influential decisions to date could have an adverse effect on his popularity going forward.
On June 20, an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey found that only 29 percent of national adults supported withdrawal from the Paris accord, while 46 percent were against the decision. 23 percent of the remaining respondents were indifferent, the AP reports.
On June 1, Trump announced from the White House Rose Garden that he would discontinue U.S. participation in the Paris climate accord, an international pact between over 190 countries committed to reducing their carbon emissions output in order to curb the impact of climate change.
"We're getting out," Trump declared, according to CNN. "And we will start to renegotiate and we'll see if there's a better deal. If we can, great. If we can't, that's fine."
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The president's decision was roundly blasted by U.S. allies. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also expressed disappointment over the withdrawal. Merkel personally called Trump after his announcement to voice her disapproval, according to The Guardian.
The AP-NORC poll found that 69 percent of national adults feel concerned a withdrawal from the Paris accord could damage U.S. standing among the global community, while only 28 percent were not worried by the prospect.
"If you are pulling out of something that pretty much every other country in the world is a part of, then that is not seen as being a leader," businessman Donald Nolan of New Jersey told the polling group. "When I lived overseas, America was always looked at as being first. But I see our position to be deteriorating."
The survey also found that 68 percent of respondents feared Trump's decision would weaken humanity's efforts to curb the impact of climate change, while 32 percent were not concerned.
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Trump had pitched his decision to withdraw from the Paris accord as an economic policy, asserting that the international pact was "about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States."
The poll found that 52 percent of Americans worried Trump's decision would actually harm the economy, while 27 percent believed it wouldn't have any noticeable impact.
Trump has previously been a vocal skeptic of humanity's contributions to climate change, putting him at odds with the vast majority of climate scientists. The poll found that 86 percent of national adults had confidence in the scientific community, while 11 percent viewed them with great skepticism.
One respondent, independent voter Bonnie Sumner of Colorado, told the polling group she trusted science and "not people who have money to be made by not wanting things to change."