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NEWS: Nobel peace prize winners call on EU to support the fuel quality directive, Feb. 23

Reuters reports, “A group of Nobel peace prize winners – including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Shirin Ebadi – urged European leaders in a letter on Thursday to support an EU Commission proposal to class fuel from oil sands as highly polluting.” The letter states, “As the tar sands have contributed to rising emissions, Canada recently stepped away from the Kyoto Protocol. Europe must not follow in Canada’s footsteps.”

The article notes, “EU officials are expected to vote on Feb. 23 on a draft law in an amendment to its fuel quality directive that includes tar sands in a ranking to enable fuel suppliers to identify the most carbon-intensive options. EU ministerial talks next week are expected to be difficult and unlikely to get a qualified majority as objections to ranking tar sands as more polluting have stirred opposition in some EU nations, where oil majors active in Canada such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total are based. If there is a stalemate, the debate could shift from the level of EU technical experts to open discussion among EU ministers and the Commission could decide to amend its proposal.” If passed, the implementation plan would then go to the European Parliament.

To counter the Harper government’s lobbying against the fuel quality directive, the Council of Canadians:

  1. joined with allies to lobby European embassies in Ottawa encouraging them to support the fuel quality directive, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13450
  2. is asking Canadians to send a message to Members of the European Parliament to express support for the fuel quality directive, http://canadians.org/eu-fqd
  3. supported ads about the tar sands in newspapers in the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands (key countries that need to be swayed on this issue), http://canadians.org/blog/?p=12409
  4. wrote to all MEPs asking them to ignore the Harper government’s lobbying against the fuel quality directive, http://canadians.org/media/documents/Letter-MEPs-CETA-tarsands-1011.pdf
  5. commissioned a legal opinion by Steven Shrybman that says, “CETA negotiations (could be used) as a tool for constraining the ability of the EU to pass regulations or other domestic measures that would differentiate between products based on their carbon content,” http://canadians.org/blog/?p=4549
  6. sent a letter to Harper government officials saying that Canada should stop lobbying the European Parliament and European Commission to weaken the fuel quality directive, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=6434.