CANADA: ‘ European Commission Draft Directive Removes Obligatory Labelling of Tar Sands Oil as Highly Polluting ‘
#AceNewsServices – CANADA – October 08 – The European Commission has proposed a directive that abandons obligatory labelling of tar sands oil as highly polluting, opening way for Canada’s sands crude imports and drawing criticism for putting oil producers’ interests above the environment.
‘ Alberta Tar Sands ‘
In light of recent economic tensions with Russia and the EU’s energy dependence on its eastern neighbour, the European Commission has published a proposal, the text of which removes one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of Alberta exporting its oil sands crude to Europe.
The revised draft still has to be approved by EU member-states before being passed on to the European Parliament.
“The commission is today (Tuesday) giving this another push, to try and ensure that in the future, there will be a methodology and thus an incentive to choose less polluting fuels over more polluting ones like, for example, oil sands,” EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in a statement.
“It is no secret that our initial proposal could not go through due to resistance faced in some member states,” Hedegaard added. “I strongly recommend Member States to adopt this proposal and keep the safeguards that will allow cleaner fuels to be used in transport across Europe.”
The desire for a trade deal with Canada had been a factor in revising the draft said EU sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Reuters.
Oil sands crude is more damaging to the environment as it emits more carbon over its life-cycle, but under the new draft that was EU will be counting it in the same category as conventional oil, opening way for larger imports from Canada.
The debate about labelling tar sands crude, in the EU started in 2009 when the block approved legislation aimed at cutting greenhouse gases from fuel by 6 percent by 2020, but failed to agree how to implement it.
The law is part of the EUs broader strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.