Friday, 5 August 2011

Canada Lobbying for Tar Sands

Friend of the Earth Europe (FOEE) have released a report detailing "unprecedented" lobbying by the Canadian government both in the UK and the EU, in attempt to delay and derail measures within the proposed European Fuel Quality Directive(FQD)   penalising the import and sale of carbon heavy fuel.
FOEE reports that there have been over 110 lobbying events organised by the Canadians on Tar Sands and the FQD since September 2009 (ie over 1 per week).    Which promote the "key role" which Canada plays in energy security.  The Canadian Government also seems to be trying to undermine peer reviewed European studies detailing the climate impact of the Tar Sands and promoting studies by IHS Cera, an institute which has definite links to the oil industry. 

This comes as the UNEP reports that the contamination of the Niger Delta by the oil industry could take 30 years to clean up and cost over $1bn  and in the UK, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for carbon heavy industry to be exempt from the proposed minimum carbon dioxide price, with concerns that heavy industry, whis is in part essential for the green recovery (for example the manufacture of wind turbines) would migrate abroad. 

I think that one of the major issues underlying this issue in developed nations is our feeling of entitlement.  We believe that we are entitled to our personal computers, TVs, cars, washing machines, mobile phones and all the other energy hungry products which have increased our household energy demand by 18% since 1970.  This, alongside the impact of our food and other aspects of our lifestyle seems to me to be incompatible with the necessary reduction and fundamentally unjust, in a global
sense.

 We in the developed nations bear the major current and historic responsibility for the oncoming crisis.  I feel it behooves us to do more to reduce our national and personal footprints.  Measures such as a personal carbon budget like the"contraction and convergence" model would perhaps offer a more socially just solution. 

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