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European Parliament backs Fuel Quality Directive

The Parliament of the European Union voted today in favour of a resolution that insists on having a separate value for tar sands oil in the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD). This is likely the first time that the European Parliament has officially voted in favour of having the tar sands value included in the FQD.

“Today's vote demonstrates that Europe is not buying Canada's bully lobbying campaign,” says Andrea Harden Donahue, Energy and Climate Justice Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “Tar sands oil is a high carbon fuel; no amount of spin can hide this.”

“We applaud the leadership of the European Union in their standing up to the bullying tactics of Big Oil and the Canadian government,” says Clayton Thomas-Muller, Tar Sands Campaign Director with the Indigenous Environmental Network. “This decision is an important precedent in the Indigenous led campaign to stop the tar sands' harmful expansion in Northern Alberta.”

“This resolution could not be more clear – European Parliament knows what it is going to take to reach their ambitious climate goals and this includes listening to the science on high carbon fuels like tar sands,” says Hannah McKinnon of Climate Action Network Canada. “This is a decisive signal that Canadian lobbying to kill this policy is facing an uphill battle and that, unlike Canada, Europe is committed to securing a safe climate future for its citizens.”

The Canadian government, along with industry allies and the Alberta government, have been engaged in a coordinated lobby attack on the European Union Fuel Quality Directive. This attack, run as part of a tar sands advocacy strategy – led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade – is dangerous and irresponsible in the face of global climate change.

To counteract these lobbying efforts, the Council of Canadians, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Climate Action Network Canada, with the support of European allies, organized a lobby busting tour of EU embassies in Ottawa and in France, Netherlands, UK and Germany.