• 05 OCT 2011
By Valentina Pop | EUobserver
The European Commission on Tuesday (4 October) proposed that oil derived from tar sands be given a higher greenhouse-gas emission value, a move slammed as "unjustified" and "discriminatory" by Canada, the world's largest producer of this fossil fuel.
After more than a year of internal wrangling and amid strong lobbying from the oil industry and the Canadian government, the 27 EU commissioners agreed to qualify tar sands as a quarter more CO2 polluting than crude oil. The draft bill still needs approval of the EU legislature and member states and will require suppliers to reduce transport-fuel carbon emissions.
“With this measure, we are sending a clear signal to fossil-fuel suppliers. As fossil fuels will be a reality in the foreseeable future, it’s important to give them the right value,” EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said after the decision was approved. The Danish politician managed to overcome resistance from her German colleague, in charge of energy policy, who had adopted a more industry-favourable line.
But the move is likely to complicate EU-Canadian talks on a free trade agreement that should have been sealed later this year.
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