A lot more Americans want to stay in the Paris climate deal than want to leave it: poll

Less than a third of Americans want to withdraw from the landmark climate agreement

By Matthew Rozsa

Published June 20, 2017 9:40AM (EDT)

 (Getty/ Sandy Huffaker)
(Getty/ Sandy Huffaker)

It seems that the decision to leave the Paris climate accord is not a popular one.

A survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 46 percent of Americans oppose withdrawing from the Paris climate accord while only 29 percent support doing so. Fifty-two percent are worried that leaving the accord will hurt America's economy, with only 27 percent believing that it won't have any impact for better or worse.

Similarly 44 percent of Americans are very concerned and 26 percent are moderately concerned that the nation's international reputation will be damaged by withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

While Democrats are predictably more likely to oppose the withdrawal and Republicans are more likely to support it, independents seem more ambivalent. Thirty-six percent are opposed to withdrawing and only 25 percent support doing so, with 37 percent not feeling strongly about the matter. That said, 43 percent are either very or extremely concerned that withdrawal will hurt global efforts to stop climate change and 25 percent are moderately concerned, adding up to more than two-thirds.

The concerns about the economic impact of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord is not limited to the general public. Some economists are concerned that America's withdrawal will cause it to lag behind other countries in develop clean energy technology, and while some coal business executives are delighted by the move, there are energy experts who believe that the decision's ability to save coal jobs or create new ones has been overstated, according to a report by CBS News.

While a number of large businesses opposed America's withdrawal from the accord, it will still be possible for a future president to re-enter the country into the international agreement.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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