In the months before the US election, environmental groups were scrambling to figure out how to raise money for climate change activism in the face of a Republican administration that had pledged to eliminate federal funding for the Clean Power Plan.
With Donald Trump in the White House, the pressure to make climate change a priority for voters was on the rise.
The White House had released a White House Climate Action Plan in May, pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025 and create 25 million jobs.
A White House Task Force on Climate Change, which is currently reviewing how to combat climate change, had proposed a $5 billion contribution to environmental organisations and their organisations to help fund research, campaigns and other activities.
But after Trump won the presidency, it was unclear whether the White Houses climate plan would be the one to carry out the promised reductions.
“There was no sense of urgency,” said Matthew Tamburello, the director of the Climate Action Project, a group that campaigns on climate change and energy.
At the time, Tambourllo was part of a coalition of climate activists that launched the Environmental Justice Coalition, which lobbied for a $15-per-hour minimum wage and other environmental protections.
After the election, the groups began working with the Clinton campaign, which in December asked them to raise $5 million for an organisation called the Climate Solutions Fund, which was set up to help the Clinton administration implement policies to curb climate change.
But they were not given the money, and the Climate Change Action Fund did not receive any federal funding.
Instead, the White houses Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Technology Policy asked for contributions, and on March 3, 2018, the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) announced it would receive $3 million from the EPA and $2 million from DOE.
EIP’s executive director, Matthew Green, said the money would be used to help groups raise money to fight against the Trump administration’s climate plan.
Since then, the group has raised $5.5 million, and has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
Green told Vice News the group will use the funds to support the work of groups like EIP, the National Wildlife Federation and other organisations to stop Trump’s climate agenda.
“We’ve been working with them to create a network of activists who will be able to make sure that there is a network out there that can fight against it,” he said.
Tambourello said it was clear the White administrations climate plan was not going to be sufficient to combat Trump’s environmental agenda.
“[The] Trump administration has been incredibly anti-environmental, to the point where it’s now attacking the EPA, and it’s threatening to cut all funding for environmental groups,” he added.
“It’s a really, really dangerous environment.”