Society

Trump Should Support Paris Agreement: Poll

| by Jordan Smith
Anti-Pruitt RallyAnti-Pruitt Rally

Findings from a new poll suggest that a majority of Americans believe President Donald Trump should support the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Trump is expected to soon announce his position on the agreement, which he vowed to "cancel" during the presidential election campaign, the Huffington Post reported.

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A Huffington Post/YouGov poll conducted among 1,000 Americans found that 61 percent thought Trump should stick with the deal, against 17 percent who thought he should withdraw. The survey, conducted between May 15 and 17, showed that 21 percent of respondents remained unsure.

The Paris Agreement was negotiated by former President Barack Obama's administration and signed by all major world powers. Only two countries, Nicaragua and Syria, did not sign the deal.

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The accord commits the U.S. to reduce its emissions of gases linked to climate change.

Sources told the Post that Trump is believed to be in favor of abandoning the deal.

The Post poll revealed that 59 percent of respondents believe the climate is changing due to the burning of fossil fuels, industrial farming and deforestation. By contrast, 21 percent said climate change is not linked to human activity, while 6 percent stated that the climate has not changed.

Asked about Washington's role, 51 percent of those polled said the U.S. was not taking a leading role in dealing with climate change, while 58 percent said they thought it should do so.

Supporters of the deal argue that Washington will lose out on jobs in the clean energy sector, a rapidly growing economic area that is expected to be worth $6 trillion by 2030.

They also fear that the U.S. could lose ground to China, India and the European powers as a result of jobs going to these countries and the possible imposition of tariffs on U.S.-produced goods if Washington does not abide by the deal.

Within the White House, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and close adviser, are said to be in favor of remaining part of the Paris Agreement. Opponents include Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and some congressional Republicans.

Many corporations, including energy firms BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, as well as companies such as Walmart and General Mills, support staying in the agreement.

Investors have also spoken out in favor.

"It is clear that investors expect oil companies to have a credible plan for managing the low-carbon transition, and engaging with public policy is an important part of that," said Andrew Logan of Ceres, a non-profit which works with major investors, according to the Independent.

According to Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, support for the agreement is not necessarily motivated by environmental considerations.

"You get to look like you care, at the same time you get to make sure nothing happens to you existing business model," Whitehouse told the Independent.

Sources: Huffington Post, Independent / Photo credit: Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons

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