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Stalemate on tar sands

23 February 2012
by foeeurope -- last modified 23 February 2012

Representatives from European governments met today to vote on plans to keep tar sands out of Europe, but intense lobby pressure from Canada and the oil industry has brought about a stalemate, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.


Abstentions and rejections from a number of European governments means the final decision will be taken by the Environment Council in June.

Darek Urbaniak, extractive industries campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said, "Intense pressure from the Canadian and oil lobbies means we have missed a chance to keep high-polluting sources of fuels, such as tar sands, out of Europe. This further delays a decision on tar sands, but could represent an opportunity for a more responsible decision by Environment ministers in June."

Tar sands are the dirtiest source of transport fuels – they destroy the environment and local communities, and could undermine Europe's ability to reach its climate ambitions."


The European Commission announced it will assign higher carbon emission values to the more climate hostile oils than to other sources of fossil fuels, with the aim of reducing the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of transport fuels. Canadian and oil lobbies have engaged in vociferous lobby efforts to block action by the European Commission.

Friends of the Earth Europe campaigns for sustainable and just societies and for the protection of the environment, unites 30 national organisations with thousands of local groups and is part of the world's largest grass-roots environmental network, Friends of the Earth International.

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