EU stands strong against tar sands lobbying/How will Canada steer the Arctic?
Friday, February 01, 2013
EU Stands Strong Against Canadian Tar Sands Lobbying
The European Commission’s plan to label dirty fuel could throw a curve ball in Canada’s mission to diversify tar sands exports.
Though Canada has exported very little oil to Europe in the past, the discovery of US shale oil has reduced America’s dependence on Canadian oil, making Canada desperate to export it’s surplus elsewhere.
The 2009 EU Fuel Quality Directive (a law which allocates values to rank fuels by GHG output over the production life cycle) will let buyers know which crude’s have a heavier impact on the climate.
Despite heavy lobbying by Canada, including claims that the law discriminates against Canadian oil, the EU is standing strong behind the initiative. Recently, an EU official confirmed, “the Commission stands by its proposal…there is an impact assessment ongoing now that is looking at the methodological aspect of the proposal.”
In 2013 the Canadian government’s attention will once again be focused on the Arctic. Beginning later this year, Canada will start it’s 2 year position as chair of the Arctic Council.
The council will be faced with many issues; from organizational, natural resources, infrastructure and security. Canada has a critical opportunity to play a leadership role in the sustainability and safety of the Arctic region. This opportunity has drillers, shippers, and environmentalists alike eager to see how Canada’s role on the council will influence the development of the region.
One immediate priority is the upcoming decision by members of Stephen Harper’s cabinet on how to conduct an environmental review for a proposal to develop the Izok Corridor in Nunavut.