Protesters who support the Paris agreement flocked to the White House gates Thursday evening to demonstrate against President Trump’s decision to pull out of the climate change pact.
D.C.-based environmental group 350 DC announced the protest one day before Trump made public his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord.
Those who oppose his decision argue that such a move would allow other nations to take the lead on efforts to combat climate change. The Paris agreement involves every country in the world except Nicaragua and Syria — and now the United States.
Trump had repeatedly vowed on the campaign trail to “cancel” the Obama-era climate pact that started in 2015. He fulfilled this promise when he made a formal announcement in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday that the U.S. will “get out” of the agreement.
Steven Bannon, Trump's chief strategist, supported the withdrawal, which aligned with his economic nationalist vision. Other top White House advisers, including the president's daughter Ivanka Trump, reportedly wanted to remain in the pact.
Many Democratic lawmakers, environmentalists and climate change activists condemned the president's decision.
One protester showed up in a full-body polar bear costume to demonstrate against the decision.
Shoutout to the guy in the full body polar bear suit at the White House climate protest. It's 82 degrees. pic.twitter.com/Onrq56BkJf— David Wright (@DavidWright_CNN) June 1, 2017
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez was spotted posing with the bear.
Other protesters came touting colorful signs that read "Wake Up to the Climate Crisis" and "Sol not Coal."
Protesters arrive outside the White House following Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. https://t.co/RYG4MpiyiA— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) June 1, 2017
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) spoke at the protest, denouncing Trump's decision.
Congressman Jamie Raskin is speaking at the protest at the White House against Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord right now. pic.twitter.com/3G0o2kpouu— SeriouslyUS? (@USseriously) June 1, 2017
Under the rules of the agreement, the earliest date the U.S. can pull out of the Paris pact is Nov. 4, 2020, one day after the next presidential election.