US government taken to court over polar bear

March 11th, 2008 - 12:10 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, March 11 (Xinhua) Three environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the US government for missing the deadline to list the polar bear as a threatened animal under the Endangered Species Act. The Natural Resources Defence Council, Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity - the three NGOs - filed the lawsuit in a San Francisco court Monday.

They hope that the move would prompt an early listing of the animal in the Endangered Species Act by the US government.

According to the NGOs, the US government was to issue a final decision on the polar bear case Jan 9, but it requested a delay. Last Sunday was the deadline for a decision.

It is the first time that the US government has ever considered listing a species as threatened due to global warming.

“We need urgent action from this administration to protect the polar bear and reduce greenhouse gas pollution, not continued delay,” said Andrew Wetzler, project director of the Natural Resources Defence Council.

The US Geological Survey magazine said in a September report that if the trend of global warming continues, the number of polar bears could drop to one third of the current level by 2050.

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