Canada's attempts to bully Europe into accepting oil from its highly polluting tar sands continued today when Canadian Minister of Environment Peter Kent made a speech in Brussels.
Anti-tar sands campaigners from Friends of the Earth Europe and the UK Tar Sands Network were present outside the event. Dressed as chefs, they brought the message 'Don't cook the planet' and distributed materials about the harm caused by tar sands and Canada's record on climate change.
Two leading climate scientists, Professors James Hansen and Mark Jaccard, explained the urgency of the climate crisis and called for strong action by the European Union, at an event in the European Parliament today.
The two are in Europe to reinforce the importance of accurate labelling of the most carbon intensive fuels under EU legislation, known as the Fuel Quality Directive.
The debate was hosted by GLOBE EU . European Commissioner for climate action Connie Hedegaard also spoke at the event
Canadian government ministers have been actively lobbying the governments of 11 EU member states, European Parliament and Commission to weaken one of the EU’s headline pieces of climate legislation, the Fuel Quality Directive.
Young Friends of the Earth groups and Push Europe activists from across Europe told governments and the oil industry to ‘Stop pushing tar sands on Europe’ today, as part of an international day of action against tar sands – the dirtiest form of unconventional oil.
Friends of the Earth Europe today endorses a new report released by partners in the tar sands campaign, Climate Action Network (CAN) Canada, which highlights Canada's dirty oil diplomacy. The report documents how the Canadian government's global push to sell the tar sands is little more than an extension of industry lobbying, and has left Canada's environmental credibility in tatters and its peoples at odds with their governors.
The Dutch government's friendly relationship with big oil companies, and unwillingness to block polluting tar sands from Europe, has been ridiculed this morning by Friends of the Earth Netherlands/Milieudefensie.
In a colourful action outside the Shell headquarters in The Hague activists dressed in Dutch national costume had oil poured over them by a 'representative' from Shell. At the same time, an activist playing Joop Atsma, the Dutch secretary of state for infrastructure and the environment, looked on smiling.
Friends of the Earth Europe, in partnership with Friends of the Earth France and Friends of the Earth Netherlands, have helped speakers from communities affected by tar sands to tour Europe and bring their voices and messages to key decision-makers here.
By continuing to raise awareness of tar sands, and providing concrete testimonies of how tar sands have disrupted indigenous peoples' everyday lives, cultures, identities, health and environment, they are bringing a human element to the debate.
Unconventional and environmentally destructive oil resources are about to go global. Time is of the essence to ensure that the devastating effects on communities and the environment are put high on the political agenda. Tar sands and other unconventional oil deposits have been discovered or are already being exploited in Venezuela, Congo-Brazzaville, Russia, Jordan, Nigeria, Angola and Madagascar. We've been actively gathering facts on future tar sands developments, including a fact-finding mission to Madagascar.
A citizens' petition signed by over 15,000 people calling on the European Union to keep tar sands out of Europe was presented the European Parliament today.
It was organised by Friends of the Earth Europe, along with a coalition of environmental organisations including the Co-operative, Greenpeace, Transport & Environment and WWF.