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Tuesday, 23rd September 2014

Dirty Deals: How trade talks threaten to undermine EU climate policies and bring tar sands to Europe

Source: Heinrich Böll Foundation

From Summary:

Since its inception in 2009, the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD),
a European Union regulation aimed at reducing the climate impact of transport fuels, has been attacked by powerful lobby interests that do not want the EU to take action to curtail the use of particularly greenhouse gas intensive fossil fuels.

While the FQD aims to reduce the climate impact of fossil fuels by addressing all sources of high carbon oil (for example oil shale, coal-to-liquid or tar sands), the oil industry has waged an extensive lobby campaign to portray the FQD as unfairly discriminating against one specific oil source: tar sands.

The Canadian government has been acting as dirty oil’s advocate since 2009, putting pressure on the EU through trade negotiations and threatening to file a complaint at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). But recently the pressure on the EU to weaken the Fuel Quality Directive has increased notably, with oil industry groups taking the lead on lobbying efforts. And oil companies and refiners have found a new lobby vehicle to attack the FQD: the ongoing negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The EU and the US are currently the world’s largest trading blocs and, if agreed, the TTIP would be the world’s largest free-trade agreement. EU and US negotiators have repeatedly stated that they aim to make the TTIP a “gold standard” agreement, or a blueprint for future trade agreements. It is therefore of critical importance that the agreement does not undermine social or environmental objectives or the ability of governments to tackle climate change.


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »

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