US - Federal Policy

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Pacific Walrus "warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act"

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a decision today that the Pacific walrus "warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act," noting that it "is primarily threatened by the loss of sea ice in its arctic habitat due to climate change."  However, the agency said that "an official rulemaking to propose that protection is currently precluded by the need to address other higher priority species."

Despite Emerging Climate Change Impacts in Developing Countries, House Appropriators Likely to Slash Climate Assistance Funds

As the impacts of climate change increasingly loom around the world, threatening regions of strategic importance to the U.S., House Republicans are likely to walk away from the problem.  They appear poised to cut funding that helps developing counties cope with the impacts; and that avoids much more disruptive impacts by slowing the growth in emissions from those countries. These investments are in the U.S. strategic and economic interest, creating markets for clean energy products and reducing the risk of climate disruption in key areas of the world.

Renewable Energy Can Phase Out Fossil Fuels in 40 Years

If the world continues its current trajectory for fossil fuel use, species, ecosystems and natural resources are all at risk from runaway climate change. WWF released a new report showing how the world can transition away from dirty energy sources and achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Open Letter to Congress from Scientists: "Focus the Nation on What the Science is Telling Us"

In an open letter to members of Congress on 28 January 2011, a group of distinguished scientists forcefully presents the scientific basis for action on climate change, urging Congress to "focus the nation on what the science is telling us, particularly with respect to impacts now occurring around the country." Americans must "plan and prepare" and Congress must "lead the national response."

Leaders of WWF and other Major Groups Call Upon President Obama to Back Clean Air Act in State of the Union Address

"We urge you to use your upcoming State of the Union address to underscore the critical need for the Clean Air Act’s sensible safeguards and to oppose any attempt to block, weaken, or delay its continued implementation," said the leaders of WWF and other major organizations yesterday (20 January 2011) in a letter to President Obama.  The President's address is scheduled for 9 pm EST on 25 January 2011.  

Polar Bears to Remain as Threatened Species

The Obama Administration has declined to upgrade the polar bear’s threatened species status, listed under the Endangered Species Act, to endangered. Geoff York, WWF polar bear scientist, discusses the growing climate change threat to polar bears.

Update and Assessment of Climate Negotiations (Friday, 10 Dec, 2:30 PM local)

Masako Konishi of WWF Japan joins Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Raman Mehta of CAN South Asia to evaluate the endgame roles played by key countries -- particularly the U.S. and Japan -- in the final hours of the climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico.  Watch the briefing.

WWF President Yolanda Kakabadse Joins Other NGO Leaders in Call for Strong and Meaningful Climate Agreement

Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International, joined leaders of three other international environment and development organizations today (9 Dec 2010)  to call upon Ministers to produce a strong and meaningful climate agreement in Cancun, Mexico.  Watch the Webcast.

U.S. Proposes to Categorize Ringed and Bearded Seals as "Threatened"

The U.S. government proposed yesterday (3 Dec 2010) to list four subspecies of ringed seals and two populations of bearded seals -- all in the Arctic region -- as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  The primary threats cited in the proposals are rapid warming of the Arctic combined with ocean acidification -- both driven by rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.  "We hope that governments meeting for climate negotiations right now in Cancun are paying attention,” says Geoff York, WWF arctic species expert.

Presidential Advisory Group Calls for Major Energy Policy Planning Process

The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) on Monday  (29 November 2010) issued a report to the President on accelerating the transformation of energy technology in the U.S. Among its top recommendations: a government-wide energy planning process that produces a report every four years, with the first report due in 2015. This is the right idea -- but we can’t wait until 2015.
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