A federal court found that animals can be listed as endangered based on climate projections.
Image from Flickr.com
Bearded seals -- and certainly other species threatened by the climate
crisis -- won a key victory this week. A federal appeals court sided with
the Center for Biological Diversity in upholding the National Marine
Fisheries Service's decision to protect the beleaguered Arctic seals under
the Endangered Species Act.
Climate change is swiftly melting the Arctic sea ice that bearded seals depend on to survive. The Center successfully petitioned to protect them in 2008 and later intervened to defend their federal protection against challenges from oil companies and the state of Alaska. The new court ruling not only reaffirmed protections for bearded seals but validated an important legal concept: that wildlife can get federal protections based on climate change predictions.
"This is a huge victory for bearded seals," said Kristen Monsell, the Center attorney who argued the case. "The decision will give bearded seals a fighting chance while we work to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions melting their sea-ice habitat and keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground."
For further details, read Court rules future climate projections can be used to protect species now on ThinkProgress.org.
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