Monday 20th June – For immediate release

Following Saturday’s International Stop the Tar Sands Day (1) demonstration, protesters today will deliver a petition (2) to the Department for Transport, challenging the UK’s opposition to including tar sands (3) in the Fuel Quality Directive (4).

An explicit reference to tar sands in EU legislation would ensure this highly polluting form of oil is banned from entering the European Union, a move to reduce carbon emissions which is widely supported by MEPs, the European Commission and most EU member states. Yet furious Canadian lobbying has sought to remove any mention of tar sands, watering down the legislation significantly. The UK is one of only two member states which has succumbed to this position (5).

Pete Barker, organiser of the London demonstration on Saturday which saw protesters gather at the Canadian High Commission, says, “Norman Baker has shown his green credentials in the past, but if he doesn’t support a European tar sands ban then he’s failing the so-called ‘greenest government ever’s biggest test so far.”


Photo opportunity: 12.45pm Monday 20th June, Department for Transport, 76 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DR

Contact for interviews: Pete Barker, 0796 775 8641

Notes to Editors:

(1) International Stop the Tar Sands Day (see saw events in 30 countries around the world raising awareness of the most destructive project on Earth. In London protesters gathered outside the Canadian High Commission, laying flowers to commemorate the death and destruction caused by the tar sands industry.

(2) The spoof ‘brown envelope’, stuffed with fake cash and covered by signatures, declares ‘YOU’VE TAKEN CANADA’S BROWN ENVELOPE, NOW TAKE OURS!’

(3) Tar Sands fuels emit on average 23% more carbon than conventional oil, For more information on tar sands and their environmental and social impacts see

(4) The EU’s landmark Fuel Quality Directive aims to reduce the carbon emissions of the transport sector by 6% by 2020 and in its amended version would identify tar sands oil as above the acceptable CO2 cap for fuel imports.

(5) Under the direction of Norman Baker, the UK government, in addition to the Netherlands, intends to block the amended Fuel Quality Directive:

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