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MEDIA RELEASE: Tar sands value in EU fuel quality policy despite Canadian lobbying is a positive step, says Council of Canadians

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

October 4, 2011

Tar sands value in EU fuel quality policy despite Canadian lobbying is a positive step, says Council of Canadians

The Council of Canadians commends today’s European Commission decision to assign a higher carbon emission value to crude from the tar sands than other fossil fuels under the EU’s proposed Fuel Quality Directive. The organization will be encouraging EU member states, notably the UK and Netherlands, not to challenge the policy when they must vote on the directive in a few months.

“It appears that the heavy handed lobbying on the part of our government has backfired,” says Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “This decision affirms that Europe is headed in the right direction, unlike the Harper government.”

The Council of Canadians along with a number of other Canadian and European civil society organizations, have consistently exposed the Canadian government’s lobbying against listing tar sands as a high-carbon fuel in the FQD, which would discourage tar sands crude from entering the European market. The organization has also been opposing the Canada-EU free trade negotiations, partly because a proposed investment chapter in the deal would give oil companies new tools with which to undermine or block climate policies they don’t like.

“The Harper government has already made veiled trade-based threats in response to transportation policy that rightfully recognizes the high carbon content of tar sands crude and we know the Canada-European trade negotiations have been a venue for lobbying,” says Stuart Trew, Trade Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “The EU Commission should listen to its parliament and its own sustainability assessment to reject an investor-state process in CETA which could allow corporate challenges to totally legitimate and badly needed climate or public health protection measures.”

A ninth and possibly final round of Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement negotiations will take place in Ottawa, October 17 to 21. The Council of Canadians is helping to plan a week of action against the deal with other Trade Justice Network allies.

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For More Information:

Andrea Harden-Donahue, Council of Canadians: (613)-218-5800; aharden@canadians.org