A suit filed today in a D.C. federal court charges six federal agencies with refusing to establish national regulations that will speed up the recovery of endangered species and take global warming into account in decision-making processes.
“Global warming is the fastest-growing threat to endangered species. It is pushing hundreds of species, including the polar bear, walrus, black abalone, elkhorn coral, staghorn coral, American pika, Sonoran pronghorn, woodland caribou, and wolverine to extinction.” - Bill Snape, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity.
The Center for Biological Diversity is bringing suit against the Interior, Commerce, Agriculture, Defense and Transportation departments, as well as the EPA. The charges are violating the Administrative Procedure Act by refusing to respond to the Global Warming and Endangered Species Initiative petition filed two years ago.
“Integrating global warming considerations into all levels of government is the challenge of our times. Yet the Bush administration not only refused to provide direction on climate change policy, it prevented federal agencies from doing so.” - Snape
The Global Warming and Endangered Species petition requests that the federal agencies develop the following regulations:
- Review of all threatened, endangered, and candidate species to determine which are threatened by global warming.
- Revise all federal recovery plans to ensure endangered species are able to adapt to a warming environment.
- Require all federal agencies to implement endangered species recovery plans.
- Review the global warming contribution of all federal projects and require mitigation of impacts on imperiled species.
- Provide technical and financial support to states, local governments, and American Indian tribes that voluntarily agree to implement recover plans.
- Require a final Endangered Species Act listing decision on all candidate species within five years.
- Prohibit all federal actions and habitat conservation plans from appreciably reducing the likelihood of species’ recovery.
The Center for Biological Diversity hopes that the resolution of the suit will give the Obama administration a legal platform to stand on in order to integrate species recovery and global warming mitigation throughout the government.
Image: Carl Chapman at Flickr under Creative Commons