Good News for Polar Bears: Momentum Growing for Climate Action

from Wildlife Promise

Protecting the future of Arctic wildlife, from polar bears to seals and Arctic foxes, requires commitment to large-scale action—and recently, that’s exactly what we’ve been seeing from the White House.

National Wildlife Federation supporters have been advocating for the future of polar bears and other wildlife across the country throughout the fight—putting critical pressure on President Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency, and members of Congress. Now, we are seeing the results of your perseverance.

This picture of a polar bear shaking off was donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Steve Perry.

This picture of a polar bear shaking off was donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Steve Perry.

Strong Momentum in the Right Direction

In the last weeks, we’ve seen President Obama announce exciting plans to spur solar energy development and boost energy efficiency. Both measures help reduce energy use from fossil fuels while creating jobs. We’ve also watched as the National Climate Assessment helped change the conversation from preparing for climate change in the future, to understanding how climate change is already impacting wildlife, ecosystems and communities.

Each of these steps is leading up to the major announcement slated for Monday, June 2, when the Environmental Protection Agency will release its proposal for first-ever limits on carbon pollution from our nation’s existing power plants. Curbing carbon pollution from our single largest source—power plants—is a huge step in the right direction for wildlife. The EPA’s proposed rule can help us move away from dirty sources of energy like coal to clean sources like wind, solar and energy efficiency. The value to wildlife of this strong momentum on climate action cannot be understated.  

The Word Is Out on Polar Bears’ Struggles

Thanks to your dedication and efforts to speak up for wildlife—the word is out about the impacts of climate change to polar bears and our most at-risk species.

Right now, polar bears living the western Hudson Bay of Canada, in the southern edge of their range, are on land for the summer. Polar bears’ main source of food is seals that they hunt from sea ice platforms, but a summertime fast is a normal part of life for polar bears in the Hudson Bay area.

What’s not normal for polar bears in the Hudson Bay is the increasing length of time they have been forced to go without food because their sea ice has veered off course. In recent years, warming temperatures have caused ice to melt earlier in the spring and freeze later in the fall—forcing polar bear to go without food an average of two weeks longer. Polar bear cubs and their moms are especially vulnerable to the impacts of this lengthening time without food.

Your Efforts to Raise Awareness are Working

The fight to protect polar bears is a long one, but your efforts to help raise awareness is working. It is now no secret that polar bears’ future is uncertain, and your advocacy is building critical momentum for the pollution limits that will give them a brighter future.

Together, we can keep this momentum going for pollution limits that are crucial to the future of America’s wildlife.

Take ActionSpeak up for polar bears: tell the Environmental Protection Agency that you support the ground-breaking limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants!