June 10, 2017

Nationwide Rallies Demand Action on Climate Change Despite Trump’s Climate Denial

Support for the Paris Climate Agreement spreads across the country as Trump prepares to remove the U.S. from the international accord


Washington, DC — Rallies and marches were held across the U.S. today demonstrating widespread support for action on climate change and for going above and beyond the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Communities gathered at city halls and statehouses to call for public officials, as well as individuals and institutions, to double down on their commitments to combat the climate crisis, and to celebrate those who are already taking action. Among the commitments that advocates are calling for to deliver on the goals of Paris are moving to 100% renewable energy, stopping new fossil fuel projects, and divesting from coal, oil and gas companies. The rallies, which were held in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Denver, and dozens of other cities, follow last week’s announcement of President Trump’s intention to exit the international accord, parting ways with 194 other countries who’ve pledged to uphold the agreement’s terms and address global warming.

Trump’s announcement was met not only with outrage and criticism, but with a reaffirmation from world leaders who signed the agreement to do their part in ensuring that the goals set in Paris are met. Additionally, more than 1200 mayors, governors, college presidents, and business leaders have expressed support for the Paris Climate Agreement as part of the “We Are Still In” coalition. This past Tuesday, a coalition of organizations delivered more than 2.5 million signatures to the United Nations on a petition urging those countries still in the Paris agreement to fill the gaps left by the Trump administration’s refusal to cooperate. Today’s rallies come just over a month after hundreds of thousands of people converged in DC and around the world for the Peoples Climate March for jobs, justice, and the climate.

Today’s rallies were organized with support from 350.org, 198 methods, Alliance for Climate Education, Avaaz, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Popular Democracy, Clean Air Council, CREDO, DivestInvest Network, DivestInvest Individual, Earth Guardians, Green America, Greenpeace USA, Hip Hop Caucus, iMatter Youth, Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ, Montana Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, NextGen Climate, Organizing for Action, PennEnvironment, Peoples Climate Movement, Powershift Network, Public Citizen, Sierra Club, The Climate Reality Project, The Nation, Union of Concerned Scientists, and many more.


Quote Sheet:

Jenny Marienau, 350.org U.S. Campaigns Director: “For the future of our communities and our climate, we can’t afford to fall short on the goals of the Paris Agreement — we need to go beyond them. People across the country know the urgency of climate change, and are rallying at city halls and statehouses today to demand action now. With the Trump administration steering this country away from climate action, it’s up to us to fill the gaps from the bottom up. From fighting fossil fuel infrastructure, to building renewable energy projects and keeping the pressure on public officials to do their part, we have the tools to create the future we need. We’re going to be loud and clear that our movement is stronger than Trump’s climate-denying agenda.”

Brandy Doyle, Campaign Manager, CREDO Action: “Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement threatens the future of our planet. With only a short window left to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, we have to act now. That’s why activists are pushing local and state leaders to sign onto the Paris goals and lead the transition to clean energy. Climate change is too urgent to delay, and if Trump won’t act, then we have to do it ourselves.”

Vanessa Green, Director of DivestInvest Individual: “An increasing number of Americans understand that in addition to voting, lobbying, protesting and marching, they can pull directly on economic levers to take action and create change. With Trump in office making colossal mistakes like withdrawing the US from the Paris Agreement, the impulse and opportunity to combat climate change by divesting, disinvesting, and defunding fossil fuel companies and infrastructure projects has never been greater.”

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, 17-year-old Eco Hip-hop Artist, Youth Director at Earth Guardians: “We are at a critical point where we need not just activists but artists, visionaries, parents, elders, students, people of all nations to step up as leaders on climate change. What’s at stake now is the existence of mine and future generations and we owe it to them to be the leaders of today so they can have a tomorrow.”

Rachel Butler, Greenpeace USA Democracy Campaigner: “Pulling the US from the Paris Agreement is one of the more disgraceful acts of the elitist, shameless Trump Administration. It dismisses the United States’ opportunity to be a leader of the inevitable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and tells vulnerable people here and worldwide that their suffering means less to this president than the financial gain of his family and their billionaire friends. Thankfully people from Pittsburgh to Paris to Kuala Lumpur don’t need to wait on climate deadbeats for a way forward. We can protect each other, we can fight for each other, and we can reject all the ways in which Donald Trump threatens our communities and our climate. This only makes our resistance bolder and braver.”

Maddie Adkins, program coordinator at iMatter: “Despite the President’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement, we stand united. As the generation committed to leaving behind a better world for those who come after us, we are asking our local governments today to commit to ending the climate crisis. We don’t need to wait for federal approval.”

Rhea Suh, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): “President Trump learned Newton’s Third Law the hard way when he pulled out of Paris.  For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. All across the country, governors, mayors, institutions, business leaders, and newly galvanized citizens made clear: You don’t speak for us.   If Trump refuses to show the kind of leadership that this moment in history demands, then the rest of us will do so.  We will make good on our climate commitments, and we will realize our clean-energy future.”

Tom Steyer, President, NextGen Climate: “Donald Trump is recklessly abandoning American leadership in the world. His actions serve the interests of corporate polluters and jeopardize the health, safety, and prosperity of every American. But in our democracy, the people have the power — and the American people will not stay quiet while Trump sells out our future.”

Jesse Lehrich, Organizing For America Communications Director: “This administration has chosen to bury their heads in the sand, deny basic science, and withdraw from the world, but the Paris Agreement and our progress on climate is moving forward without them. The rest of the world is upholding their commitments, and so are Americans – from business leaders who are committed to cutting emissions and investing in renewable energy, to mayors and governors who are demonstrating bold leadership, to ordinary citizens taking grassroots action like we saw today.”

Russell Zerbo, advocacy coordinator at the Philadelphia Clean Air Council: “Pennsylvania is lucky to have Mayors, like Bill Peduto and Jim Kenney, who are willing to fight climate change. The amount of local elected officials in the pocket of PA’s fossil fuel industry is disgusting. In spite of rising flood insurance premiums and nation-leading lyme disease, these same polluted public officials actively smother the state’s energy efficiency and solar power industries. Pennsylvanians must fight for public health over corporate profit.”

Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director: “Donald Trump made a historic mistake by abandoning the Paris agreement, undermining U.S. global leadership in an unprecedented way. But meanwhile, he’s galvanized cities and states across the nation to fight back and make clear that even though Trump is out, many of the biggest economies in our country are not only all-in, they are committed to doing more than ever. With states joining the U.S. Climate Alliance and committing to deliver on our Paris commitments, and cities like Pittsburgh committing to 100% clean energy, it’s clear our progress will keep moving ahead despite Trump.”

Ken Berlin, President and CEO, The Climate Reality Project: “Our movement is more motivated than ever. Climate activists are ready to take meaningful action to end the greatest challenge of our time – with or without the White House. States, cities, towns, and businesses are moving forward at full speed to transition to clean energy. Together, we are a force, and if the president and the administration won’t do what is right, we will.”

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists: “States, cities, businesses and everyday Americans are making clear that they will continue to uphold the Paris Agreement and take strong action to cut US carbon emissions. They understand that climate change poses a severe threat to the security and well-being of all Americans, and that effectively addressing the climate crisis is much less costly than coping with the much greater impacts we’ll suffer if we don’t take sufficient action.”

Rachel Cleetus, Lead Economist and Climate Policy Manager, Union of Concerned Scientists: “Our nation’s shift to a clean energy economy is unstoppable—not just because the costs of renewables are plummeting, but because the climate movement will fight for policies to ensure a just transition for workers and clean energy access for all. A renewable energy future is the smart choice for our economy—and, together with much-needed investments in resilience, will help protect communities faced with worsening climate impacts.”


Contact: Dani Heffernan, [email protected], +1 (305) 992-1544