|Source: Wikimedia Commons.|
Greenhouse gas emissions and global warming are a big part of the arctic melting that has caused the destruction of polar bear habitat. If the polar bear was listed as an endangered species, the US would have to assess the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on polar bear habitat. The BBC's article explicitly states that environmental groups believe the government doesn't want to have to assess emissions and that is why they didn't bump up the polar bear's status to endangered.
The article doesn't give much voice to the government perspective, or explain what kind of analysis was done to arrive at the conclusion that the polar bear is only threatened. Because of this, the article is one sided and I think takes too biased a point of view. This is surprising from the BBC, because in general I think they do a good job staying balanced in their reporting.