President Donald J. Trump announced that he will make a decision this week on whether to have the United States formally withdraw from the international agreement on climate that the U.S. signed in Paris in 2016. Voice of the People (VOP) President Steven Kull says Mr. Trump should consider the fact that seven-in-ten Americans support U.S. participation in the agreement when making this decision.

“Americans today express great frustration with government because they believe that leaders pay little attention to the public’s views when making important decisions that will affect the lives of citizens. President Trump was elected on a promise that the people would have much more influence in his administration than in previous ones, and the American people are watching to see if he will follow through on that commitment,” said Kull.

VOP is a nonpartisan organization that does not take a position on policy issues, but does encourage policymakers to take public views into account.

American public support for the Paris agreement was revealed in an in-depth study initiated by VOP and conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation in April 2016. In the national survey, a representative sample of 5,975 voters were given a briefing on the issue, including the fact that the deal involves the United States adopting the goal of reducing greenhouse gases by about 2 percent a year.

Respondents also evaluated strongly-stated arguments for and against U.S. participating in the agreement—the argument in favor was found more convincing. Asked for their final recommendation, 71 percent approved of the United States adopting the 2 percent reduction goal as part of the international agreement. This included a slight majority of Republicans (52 percent) and an overwhelming majority of Democrats (89 percent). 

The survey also included samples in eight different states, ranging from very “red” to very “blue.” Similar majorities approved in all states including Oklahoma (69 percent), Texas (70 percent), Florida (71 percent), Ohio (66 percent), Virginia (72 percent), California (73 percent), Maryland (80 percent), and New York (76 percent).

Other more recent polls have found similar results. A December 2016 poll by Yale University found 69 saying that the United States should participate in the “international agreement in Paris with 196 other countries to limit the pollution that causes global warming.”

A March 2016 Quinnipiac University poll found 63 percent saying that it would be a bad idea to eliminate funding for “international climate change programs.”  And a January 2017 ABC News/Washington Post poll found just one in three supported the idea of “Withdrawing from the main international treaty that tries to address climate change.”

A report on the VOP study can be found at: http://vop.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/EE_Report.pdf