Canada accused of trying to kill US, EU clean fuel policies
Environmentalists on Monday accused Canada of attempting to kill proposed US and EU clean energy policies in order to protect its oil exports.
Climate Action Network Canada executive director Graham Saul told a press conference government letters, memos, speeches, and lobbyist reports assembled by the group point to a "coordinated lobbying strategy to kill climate change policies in other countries."
"This systematic effort, is being run out of Foreign Affairs and some of the briefing materials feeding into key discussions was drafted by the oil industry rather than having more neutral versions prepared by civil servants," he said.
"In our opinion, this is a scandal. It's outrageous," he added.
In a report, the coalition of environmental groups cites three cases in 2007 in which Ottawa fiercely lobbied to "undermine" or "weaken" climate and clean energy policies of foreign governments.
They were the establishment of a low-carbon fuel standard in California; a US federal clean fuels policy directing government departments not to buy dirty fuels; and the European Unions Fuel Quality Directive on blending more biofuels into their gasoline and reducing emissions from the production of fossil fuels.
It was feared that exports from Canada's oil sands, whose exploitation generates more greenhouse gases than extracting crude oil, would be impacted by the new laws.
Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council noted that Canada failed to sway California and the EU, and Washington's position is still undetermined.
But Saul said: "We have reason to believe that these three cases are only the tip of the iceberg."
He and other members of the Climate Action Network Canada called on Harper "to stop trying to kill clean energy policies in other countries."
(c) 2010 AFP