Indigenous leader travels to Europe to counter pro-tar sands lobbying

 Friday 27th September – For immediate release

  • EU climate legislation which would discourage tar sands imports to Europe is in its final stages
  • Two Ministers from Alberta are travelling to Europe to lobby against the directive
  • First Nations leader will visit Europe and meet with decision-makers to advocate for the directive and highlight importance of regulating against tar sands
  • Climate scientists say emissions must be cut by 10% per decade to avoid runaway climate change


On Saturday, George Poitras, a former Chief from the Mikisew Cree First Nation, will travel to the Netherlands, France and the UK, to raise awareness of the devastating impacts of tar sands development on First Nations communities, and to advocate that the EU supports the labelling of tar sands fuel as highly polluting in the EU Fuel Quality Directive (FQD).[1]

The FQD has been a contentious issue, attracting many Canadian and Alberta lobbyists to visit the EU, including Alberta’s ministers of International Relations and Environment just this week in a final push to dismantle legislation which they see as a threat to the future profits of the highly carbon-intensive tar sands industry. [2]

Today also sees a launch of the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report arguing ‘aggressive mitigation strategies’ are needed to keep global temperature rise within two degrees.[3]

George Poitras is an internationally recognized name in the global debate on Canada’s tar sands, living downstream from tar sands projects in northeastern Alberta. George will meet with government advisers, Ministers, MPs, and journalists and will address a public meeting.


For more information and interviews with George Poitras, contact:


The Netherlands: 29th September to 1st October

Evert Hassink, Milieudefensie – [email protected] – +31 6 51 080994

France: 1st October to 3rd October

Caroline Prak, Les Amis de la Terre – [email protected] – + 33 6 86 41 53 43

UK: 3rd October to 5th October

Suzanne Dhaliwal, UK Tar Sands Network – [email protected] – +44 7772 694 327




[1] A fully-referenced four-page briefing on the FQD is available here:


[3] The IPCC summary is available here

The FQD would reduce emissions from the EU transport sector by 6% by 2020.


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