The European Union appears to be resurrecting a fuel quality directive (FQD) that would penalize high-carbon fossil fuels from Canada’s tar sands/oil sands, while moderating a 10% biofuels target that environmental groups saw as encouraging deforestation and driving up commodity prices.
The European Parliament narrowly rejected the previous version of the FQD late last year, due in part to a “five-year siege” by Canadian officials and industry lobbyists.
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“Transport fuels are the only European sector in which emissions are still rising and the directive mandates a 6% reduction in their greenhouse gas intensity by 2020,” The Guardian reports. “But specific measures to bring this about in the FQD were strongly opposed by Canada, which threatened trade retaliation if the EU acted on scientific advice and taxed tar sands oil at a higher rate because they are more polluting than conventional oil.”
“It’s vital the Commission tackles Europe’s transport emissions,” said Friends of the Earth Europe campaigner Colin Roche. “What’s absolutely crucial now is that any renewal of the fuel quality directive is a real deterrent to European imports of climate-killing tars sands and damaging crop-based biofuels. Europe cannot afford to ignore this black hole in their climate strategy.”
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