Give yourselves a pat on the back…

Dear grassroots lobbyists and graffiti artists,

Here’s a big round of applause for everyone who has been tirelessly and creatively telling Norman Baker not to vote against the Fuel Quality Directive proposal… It worked! Although the battle isn’t over yet, and there will be plenty more action needed on the ongoing attempts to keep tar sands oil out of Europe in coming months.

In the meantime some interesting things have been happening in London, with BP getting an earful from angry activists over its visually perturbing sponsorship of the Olympics.

We are also very happy to announce that we have a new member on board – welcome to Ruthi who will be volunteering with us!

1. A small stalemate for Europe, a big step for the climate
2. BP: F***ing the Future
3. Dates for your diary

Love and fistfuls of black paint,

Jess, Sue, Emily and Ruthi


1. A small stalemate for Europe, a big step for the climate

The Fuel Quality Directive finally came to a vote in the EU last week. For well over a year we’ve been pushing – along with campaigners all over Europe – for this key piece of climate legislation to label tar sands as dirtier than conventional oil, thus restricting the European market to future imports after all the effort, the outcome was… a stalemate.

Disappointing? Not at all! Although this outcome has been widely reported in the Canadian media as a major victory for the Canadian government’s recent multi-million-dollar lobbying frenzy, in fact, it’s the opposite. Despite all the pressure from Canada, countries that had previously indicated they were going to vote against the law – including the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands – abstained.

This was a major breakthrough. It shows that the pressure that all of us have been applying over the last few months to Transport Minister Norman Baker has paid off. The stalemate means that now the decision has been bumped up to Environment Ministers to vote on in June, so we have an exciting few months ahead of us to make sure that the UK government fully supports the FQD and does not allow Canadian lobbying to scupper our chances at keeping tar sands out of Europe for good.

2. BP: F***ing the Future

Last week BP, as London 2012 ‘Sustainability Partner’, began a flashy new Olympic marketing push, with TV ads, billboards, internet ads and newspaper spreads all illustrating the company’s role in the Greenest Games ever. An anonymous group used this as an opportunity to rip into BP’s image and challenge its propaganda. Calling it ‘Brand Piracy’ day, activists subvertised BP billboards and logos all over London with black paint and cleverly placed asterisks. Looks like we’re not the only ones slamming BP for its ridiculous greenwash!

3. Dates for your diary

Lots of exciting actions and events are coming up in the next month. Remember, if you’d like us to help organise a talk or film screening in your area, get in touch!

3rd March: Oxford Radical Forum, Tar Sands workshop, Wadham College, 2.30-4pm

3rd March: Tar-Free Transition Heathrow’s Second Birthday

6th March: Climate Rush presents: Occupy the Oil Aisle: A Waitrose and Shell intervention

7th March: Candlelit tar sands vigil – 7pm, Canadian Embassy, London.

8th March: Plymouth talk on tar sands and open discussion about Plymouth going tar-free.

22nd March: Lobby-busting tour! Representatives of Canadian organisations will be in London to lobby the UK government in favour of the Fuel Quality Directive!

31st March: A second chance for FairPensions’ AGM training

31st March: Croydon Greenpeace talk on tar sands and Tar-Free Towns

1st April: Oxford screening of Taking on Tarmageddon

Email us for more details or see our events page.

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