Isn’t the biggest danger to polar bears climate change? Of course it is. In fact, it is because of climate change that we need to give polar bears the best possible chance they have to survive through the end of this century, by which time humanity will hopefully been able to stabilize the atmosphere.
That’s why the United States’ proposal is so important. While climate change is threatening polar bears across the Arctic, we need to adopt policies to keep their
The fate of the United States’ proposal largely lies in the hands of the European Union. As a block that controls dozens of votes at the rapidly approaching CITES meeting, Europe controls a swing vote that often determines what animals get protected--and those that are left behind. Our sources tell us that Europe’s position remains in flux with many European countries sitting on the fence.
Will Europe stand up and help the United States and Russia end international trafficking in their parts? The next few weeks will decide that question and, with it, the fate of hundreds of polar bears.
Many countries are still upset that the U.S. Congress never ratified the Kyoto Protocols, resentment that Canada is trying to exploit as it defends its polar bear hunt. But that sad fact shouldn’t be used to distract us from what we can do for polar bears today and other animals endangered by climate change. Nor should it distract us from a few other facts: in the last year the United States has moved aggressively to regulate the biggest source of global warming, carbon dioxide, through domestic law. Between those regulations and a shift to lower-carbon fuels, the U.S. has substantially reduced it emissions of climate change gasses. In 2011, U.S. emissions of energy-related carbon dioxide were 8.7 percent below 2005 levels. By contrast, since 2005 Canada has walked away from the Kyoto Protocol and invested heavily in polluting tar sands oil fields.
Polar bears need our help. Will Europe be there for them? Take action here.