Speaking during his year-end press conference Friday, Obama was asked if he's concerned that the GOP will derail the global climate agreement reached in Paris last week.
"Do I think that there's going to be lot of noise and campaigning next year about how [the GOP is] going to stop Paris in its tracks? There will probably be a lot of noise like that," Obama said. "The American Republican Party is the only major party that I can think of in the advanced world that effectively denies climate change."
"It's an outlier," he continued. "Many of the key signatories to this deal, the architects of this deal, come from center-right governments. Even the far right parties in many of these countries, they may not like immigrants for example, but yeah they admit, yeah, the science tells us we have to do something about climate change."
He added that while the GOP's climate denial rhetoric may provide a short term advantage in the 2016 presidential campaign, "it's not something that's going to be a winner for Republicans long term."
Obama made a similar point when he traveled to Paris for the opening of the climate talks.
"You travel around Europe and you talk to leaders of governments and the opposition, and they are arguing about a whole bunch of things," he said. "One thing they’re not arguing about is whether the science of climate change is real and whether or not we’re going to have to do something about it."
A paper published by the journal Politics and Policy in September backs up Obama's rhetoric.
"There is an expectation of a conservative aversion against environmental measures," writes the University of Bergen's Sondre Båtstrand. "With regard to climate change, this is only the case with the U.S. Republican Party, and hence not representative of conservative parties as a party family."
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