Skip to content

NEWS: Canadian groups counter tar sands lobbying at European embassies in Ottawa

Postmedia News reports, “A powerful Canadian oil and gas industry group has been systematically lobbying European embassies in recent months against proposed climate change legislation that discourages high-polluting transportation fuels such as crude oil from the oilsands sector, environmental groups said Tuesday.”

Embassy magazine adds, “(Now) environmentalists are taking the public relations war over the oil sands to embassies, furiously lobbying diplomats to counter the efforts of oil officials and the Harper government who are trying to reverse a European proposal to classify oil sands crude as particularly dirty.”

“The environmental groups issued an invitation to all EU embassies, said Andrea Harden-Donahue, energy and climate justice campaigner for the Council of Canadians. …By Feb. 3, representatives from the Council of Canadians, Climate Action Network Canada and the Indigenous Environmental Network had met with officials from eight European Union embassies—Poland, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Austria, Italy and Germany—and the Norwegian embassy. They also plan to meet with Latvia, Denmark and others over the week of Feb. 6.”

“Their efforts come in advance of a Feb. 23 technical committee meeting of EU member state representatives that could hold a vote on the implementation of the revised Fuel Quality Directive. …If passed, the implementation plan would then go to the European Parliament.”

StraightGoods.ca notes, “Lobbying against the Directive, which has been subject to unusual delays, has included over 110 meetings in 2010 alone. Canada is the only non-EU state to participate in FQD consultation, advertisements and reports. …’Canadian lobbying against the EU Fuel Quality Directive is riddled with misleading arguments and it does not represent the values many Canadians share,’ said Andrea Harden-Donahue, Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner with the Council of Canadians.”

And the Toronto Sun reports, “‘We feel that (Canadian lobbying against the FQD) is dangerous and irresponsible in the face of a serious climate crisis,’ said Andrea Harden Donahue, spokeswoman for the Council of Canadians. ‘Venezuela has bitumen deposits that they are looking to develop and they are not lobbying the EU.'”

To read Andrea’s blogs on this ‘lobby-busting’ tour, please go to http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13401 and http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13364.