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Withdrawal from Paris Agreement spurs reaction from Congress to the European Union

Kevin King

Kevin King

Jun 3, 2017

It has been less than 48 hours since President Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Since then, Members of Congress have released over 800 statements reacting to the withdrawal. Typically, this surge in congressional dialogue would warrant an analysis of its own. However, with the recent launch of Quorum EU, we're able to take a comparative look at how members of the European Parliament, Council, and Commission are also reacting to the withdrawal -- as they now become the lead implementors of the Paris Climate Agreement.

77% of Democrats are talking about the withdrawal compared to 36% of Republicans

In the past 48 hours, 184 of the 241 Democrats serving in Congress have responded to President Trump’s announcement in an official statement or on social media. However, only 105 of the 291 Republicans serving in Congress have issued responses to the withdrawal. 

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The Greens-European Free Alliance and the Party of European Socialists lead the conversation in the EU

Since President Trump’s announcement, there have been 678 mentions of the United States' withdrawal by members of the European Parliament, Council, and Commission. The Greens-European Free Alliance and the Party of European Socialists lead the conversation with 201 and 187 mentions, respectively.

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Republicans focus on China and cost, Democrats on leadership and planet, EU officials on world and together.

An analysis of the top 25 keywords used in official statements on the Paris agreement by members of Congress reveals key differences in how Republicans and Democrats reacted to the withdrawal. Democrats frequently used words like “leadership”, “planet”, and “threat” whereas Republicans frequently used words like “Obama”, “China”, and “cost.” In the European Union, MEPs, Council members, and Commissioners frequently used words like  “leadership”, “China”, “together”, “world”, "new", and “fight.”

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A message from across the pond

Some of the most notable reactions from European officials included newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron, urging U.S. scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs frustrated by the decision to move to Europe and continue their work. President of the European Council Donald Tusk called for stronger relations with China and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said the U.S.’s decision was “against what we stand for.” 

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