Eyes on Washington week ending 11.10.17


Syria signs the Paris Climate Agreement leaving the U.S. as the only country in the world not in it. Paula Caballero, Global Director of the Climate Program at Washington DC-based think tank the World Resources Institute said that “with Syria on board, now the entire world is resolutely committed to advancing climate action—all save one country. This should make the Trump administration pause and reflect on their ill-advised announcement about withdrawing.”

It remains to be seen whether or not this will impact the actions of the U.S. delegation over the next fortnight of talks at COP23. The White House has said it “will promote coal, natural gas and nuclear energy as an answer to climate change.” The goal for the rest of the countries now is to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Meanwhile, just four days prior to Syria joining the Paris Agreement, the White House released the “Climate Science Special Report.”

To the surprise of some scientists, the White House did not seek to prevent the release of the government’s National Climate Assessment, which is mandated by law. The report affirms that climate change is driven almost entirely by human action, warns of a worst-case scenario where seas could rise as high as eight feet by the year 2100 and details climate-related damage across the United States that is already unfolding as a result of an average global temperature increase of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900.

The assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation
supported by the extent of the observational evidence.


In other news, The U.S. Department of the Interior, is establishing and seeking nominations for the International Wildlife Conservation Council. The Council will provide advice to the Federal Government, through the Secretary of the Interior, on increasing public awareness domestically regarding the conservation, wildlife law enforcement, and economic benefits that result from U.S. citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting. Additionally, the Council shall advise the Secretary on the benefits international hunting has on foreign wildlife and habitat conservation, anti-poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking programs, and other ways in which international hunting benefits human populations in these areas. The announcement was published in the Federal Register on November 8, 2017.


Endangered Species Act

Join WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society’s call to action to protect and defend the ESA! Tell Congress to protect the ESA not destroy it! Contact the U.S. House of Representatives at www.house.gov and U.S. Senate at www.senate.gov

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