Eyes on Washington week ending 07.14.17


G20 Summit and The Paris Agreement

At the G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany earlier this month, world leaders made clear the U.S.’s isolated stance on climate change, with 19 of the G20 countries affirming their commitment to the “irreversible” Paris climate agreement, The Guardian reports.

After lengthy negotiations that stretched well into Saturday, the final joint statement from the meeting in Hamburg notes Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris deal while stating that the world’s other major economies all still support the international effort to slow dangerous global warming.

German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said she “deplored” the U.S. exit from the agreement and added that she did not share the view of Theresa May, the British prime minister, that Washington could decide to rejoin the pact.

The communique reads: “We take note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris agreement,” adding: “The leaders of the other G20 members state that the Paris agreement is irreversible” and “we reaffirm our strong commitment to the Paris agreement.”


The Ocelot Agreement

The Center for Biological Diversity announced on June 26th, a settlement agreement was reached in a matter brought by the Center and the Animal Welfare Institute against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). A federal court in Tucson approved the agreement in which the USDA and USFWS agreed to conduct analyses aimed at ensuring that Wildlife Services, the department’s long-running program that kills Arizona and Texas wildlife, does not inadvertently kill endangered ocelots.

“With fewer than 100 ocelots remaining in the United States, these beautiful cats desperately needed this good news,” said Collette Adkins, a Center attorney and biologist. “All the latest science shows Wildlife Services’ predator-control program is expensive, ineffective and inhumane. This settlement will help ensure that no ocelots suffer and die by traps set for bobcats, coyotes, bears and other predators targeted by Wildlife Services.”

Wildlife Services is required by the Endangered Species Act to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service on its activities that may affect endangered species, including predator control. The program kills wildlife within the range of endangered ocelots. Given the similarity in size between ocelots and many of the targeted predators, the Fish and Wildlife Service warned Wildlife Services in a 2010 “biological opinion” document that ocelots could be harmed by its use of traps, snares and poisons — including baited M-44 devices that propel lethal doses of sodium cyanide into animals’ mouths.

Since that 2010 opinion, ocelots have been spotted in several additional locations in Arizona, including the Huachuca and Santa Rita mountains. New evidence also indicates that Wildlife Services has failed to comply with the mandatory measures intended to minimize risk to ocelots. Since the plaintiff wildlife organizations filed their complaint, Wildlife Services and the Fish and Wildlife Service have been working together to examine risks to ocelots and develop risk-mitigation measures.

From Meet Our Clients: The Wildcats ~ Ocelot

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