The first shipment of highly polluting Canadian tar sands oil to Europe is due to arrive in Spain today. Environment groups Friends of the Earth Europe, Transport & Environment and Greenpeace warn that this delivery provides a snapshot of Europe's energy future – a continued addiction to ever-dirtier oil
The 600,000 barrels of oil will arrive in Bilbao and have been purchased by Spain-based multinational Repsol . It is the first major shipment of tar sands oil to the EU.
As US President Obama makes his first visit to Brussels and the EU institutions today, Friends of the Earth is demanding that environmental and health protection is put top of the agenda on both continents.
Obama will meet European Commission President Barroso to discuss the ongoing EU-US trade negotiations, energy issues and climate concerns, amongst other things.
New figures released today by the US Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) show that if Europe does not act, its imports of tar sands, one of the dirtiest fossil fuels, would likely skyrocket from about 4,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2012 to over 700,000 bpd in 2020 . The resulting emissions increase in transport would be the equivalent of adding six million cars to Europe's roads.
"Commission President Barroso needs to implement the Fuel Quality Directive now to protect our climate and keep the dirtiest fuels out of Europe."
That was the message activists from Friends of the Earth Europe took to the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels today. The campaigners called on President Barroso to finally implement this crucial piece of European climate legislation that has been delayed by more than three years already.
Today twenty-one Nobel Prize winners backed calls from Friends of the Earth Europe for the immediate implementation of the EU Fuel Quality Directive.
The Nobel laureates sent a letter to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Union environment ministers calling for stronger action to help tackle climate change by accurately labelling transport fuels according their climate impacts.
Friends of the Earth Europe's new film, documenting the efforts of local communities in Madagascar to protect their island home from tar sands development, was premiered in Europe last week at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
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
A leader of Canada's Indigenous peoples gave a dramatic eyewitness account of the environmental and social devastation associated with mining tar sands at the world's biggest tourism fair today.
Representatives from Canada's First Nations and Friends of the Earth Europe are at the Berlin ITB expo to protest about the destruction of Canada's natural environment and publicise the dangers of tar sands expansion.
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.