Environmentalists Are Already Fundraising Off Trump’s Paris Decision

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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Environmental groups are using President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord to raise millions of dollars.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) promoted one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter Tuesday, #ActOnClimate. EDF’s campaign takes people to a fundraising webpage, which lays out the progress the group is making towards meeting its $2 million goal.

“Pulling out of the Paris climate accord is a reckless, disappointing decision—but we have the power to fight back,” reads the EDF fundraising page. All donations to EDF in this campaign were being matched by former Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, a prominent donor.

Trump announced Thursday he would make good on his campaign pledge to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord, which the Obama administration joined in 2016. Trump said the accord was poorly negotiated and would hurt American workers.

“This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States,” Trump said in the Rose Garden last week.

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump said.

Trump’s decision was cheered by Republicans and conservative groups, but environmentalists, Democrats and big businesses decried the decision. Environmentalists spent the days since the withdrawal hyping up the decision, claiming the future of the planet is at stake.

Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said Trump’s decision was “one of the most ignorant and dangerous actions ever taken by any president.”

The Sierra Club also took Trump’s decision as an opportunity to fundraise, including asking supporters to ask their families and friends for donations.

A fundraising webpage for the group said “cities, states, and companies are already joining forces to commit to the Paris Accord in their backyards and stand up for future generations.” As of Tuesday, the club has raised more than $82,000.

But it shouldn’t be surprising that environmentalists are fundraising off Trump’s decision. These groups have been taking advantage of the “resistance” label for months to raise money.

“We’re ready to fight Trump’s dangerous anti-climate agenda and protect our environment, but we can’t do it without you,” reads a fundraising page for Greenpeace, which purports to “help power the resistance.”

Visit the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) website and you’ll be hit with a banner ad, asking for donations to the “Stop Trump Legal Defense Fund.” NRDC wants to raise $1 million for this campaign by the end of June.

NRDC is one of several prominent environmental groups that sued the Trump administration to try and stop them from rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations.

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