EU tar sands pollution vote ends in deadlock

EU tar sands pollution vote ends in deadlock

23 February 2012 Guardian

Decision on whether to label oil produced from tar sands as highly polluting is delayed as key vote fails to find majority. .

The European Union failed to label oil produced from tar sands as highly polluting on Thursday, with a key vote by member states ending in deadlock.

The issue is seen as a key test of the EU's ability to implement its climate change policies while under heavy pressure from the Canadian government and oil companies who want to prevent billions of barrels of tar sands oil from being designated as especially harmful to the environment. The lobbying has been intense, with Canada secretly threatening a trade war with Europe if the proposal is passed, while the Nasa climate scientist James Hansen has said full development of the tar sands would mean it was "game over" for the climate.

Darek Urbaniak at Friends of the Earth Europe said: "Some European governments have given in to Canadian and oil lobby pressure, instead of saying no to climate-hostile tar sands. High-polluting sources of fuels, such as tar sands, must be cleaned up or kept out of Europe – they are the dirtiest source of transport fuels, and will undermine Europe's ability to reach its climate ambitions." 

View the full article at the Guardian.