Call to end Canadian Lobbying of European Climate Policy

Monday 19th December – for immediate release

A coalition of organisations [1] is calling on the Canadian government to stop sending spokespeople to interfere in EU legislation. Alberta’s Minister of Intergovernmental, International and Aboriginal Relations Cal Dallas has travelled to France, Switzerland and now the United Kingdom [2] to repeat Canada’s arguments that the EU’s Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) [3] discriminates against Canada’s tar sands. [4]

“Canadian tar sands are not getting attention in the EU because we want to discriminate against them or sabotage the Canadian economy,” said UK Tar Sands Network campaigner Suzanne Dhaliwal. “Canada is receiving this attention because of the unprecedented attempts to undermine democratic climate legislation, and the gravity of the environmental destruction and human rights violations taking place to extract tar sands in Canada.”

The tour was announced three days after an EU member state vote on the current draft of the FQD was postponed, giving the Canadian government another six weeks to try to convince European oil sympathisers that tar sands should not be given a separate value in the directive. [5]

Emily Coats, also from the UK Tar Sands Network, said, “A sensible way of reining in one of the world’s dirtiest industries is being scuppered by the interests of the oil industry and Canadian government. Just last week, Canada pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, severely tarnishing the government’s climate credentials. The Canadian government really isn’t where the UK should be turning for advice.”

Dallas’s trip is also focusing on “growing Alberta’s presence” in the European energy market. [6] Last week the minister participated in the World Trade Organization (WTO) policy meetings to discuss the “Doha Round” of negotiations, and today will meet the Deputy High Commissioner of Canada to discuss efforts to ‘promote Alberta in the UK’. [7]

“People are fed up by the ridiculous greenwash being spouted by these ministers,” said Clayton Thomas-Muller, Tar Sands campaigner with the Indigenous Environmental Network. “The suggestion that tar sands could be considered ‘responsible energy production’ [8] is ludicrous. Tar sands exploitation is harming First Nations and local communities and accelerating us towards irreversible climate change. The UK government should be supporting the FQD and phasing out tar sands financing, not developing radical new trade avenues with Alberta.” [9]

Contact UK Tar Sands Network for further comments

[1] Organisations include: UK Tar Sands Network, Council of Canadians, The Indigenous Environmental Network and People and Planet.
[3] The FQD will reduce the EU’s emissions from transport by 6% by 2020 by assigning an average value of greenhouse gas intensity to each fuel type. The FQD in its current form, based on independent science and officially approved by the EU Commission, assigns tar sands with a higher average greenhouse gas value than conventional crude. It assigns even higher values to fuels such as oil shale and coal-to-liquid.
[4] See
[5] This trip marks a long line of visits to the UK designed to label the legislation as ‘discriminatory’ and ‘unscientific’. Most recently, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver was sent to LSE to give a public lecture pushing the future of tar sands and speaking out against the Fuel Quality Directive. See See also for more examples of lobbying.
[6]  In recent months the UK opened a trade office in Alberta and the UK Prime Minister David Cameron travelled to Canada to meet Prime Minister Stephen Harper in September. See
[8] “Dallas will also meet with the Deputy High Commissioner of Canada and the Alberta United Kingdom Office to discuss Alberta’s commitment to responsible energy production.” See
[9] The UK government’s position is currently aligned with Canada’s, with Norman Baker coming under fire from local, national, and international protesters to change his position. See

2 Responses to “Call to end Canadian Lobbying of European Climate Policy”

  1. edna brillon says:

    Stop all tar sand now!

  2. ATC Wharton says:

    Keep up the campaign Brits on behalf of Canadians who are against the hideous tar sands inflicted upon us by a 24% of the vote so called majority government which doesn’t listen to environmental concerns or science. Aboriginal people living along the Athabasca River are being poisoned by the toxins already infiltrating the river. Harper is being compared to a Kim-Jon Il. Each day we must file Freedom of Information Requests to get the real data on damages being done. But the tar sands cannot hide from NASA images in time lapse. Nor from the lobby groups who expose the tar sands for what it is. Certainly not a TransCanada pipeline project, but a big oil initiative to drum up investment dollars which will look good for an accountant politician with no moral scruples surrounding himself with a group of image promoters, the likes of which Canadians have never before seen. Yes, we are a kind and educated, multicultural nation on the whole. But the power elite is drowning out the reality of this abysmal project.

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