Unprecedented lobbying by the Canadian Government in a technical discussion on the European Union’s Fuel Quality Directive has resulted in the decision being passed to the Ministerial level. In response to this outcome Hannah McKinnon, Campaign Director at Climate Action Network Canada has said the following:
“European Union Ministers have a political mandate to act on climate change, and should look past the Canadian government’s shallow efforts to push dirty tar sands oil at any cost. The fact that the proposal is now in the hands of Ministers gives politicians in Europe a chance to live up to their climate commitments. The European Union has been a consistent champion of action on climate change, and where Canada used to be an ally in this fight, its failure to live up to international and domestic promises have made it a laggard. Europe’s efforts to do the right thing should not be hampered by an aggressive Canadian public relations and lobbying campaign based on false myths, while the Canadian government continues to do nothing to regulate greenhouse gas pollution from the same dirty oil it is trying to peddle.”
Following over two years of aggressive lobbying from the Canadian government and industry, experts have voted on the implementation of Article 7a of the Fuel Quality Directive and voted to pass the discussion to Ministers of the Environment. This vote, which involved abstentions from many countries, means that technical experts felt that a decision would be better taken by an elected official. This policy would achieve emissions reductions by encouraging the use of lower carbon fuels and encouraging fuel producers to adopt more efficient production processes. The Canadian Government, instead of dealing with the emissions from the tar sands (Canada’s fastest growing source of GHG pollution), launched a PR campaign against Europe’s efforts to clean up its fuel mix.