The European Parliament joined European citizens this week in demanding to put a higher carbon tag on tar sands than on other fossil fuels to demonstrate clearly its damaging impact on our environment and climate. 

The discussion about the carbon tag of tar sands is going on within the EU for quite some time and while many people expected the EU to clearly state that the environmental impacts of tar sands are clearly higher than conventional oil and should be treated acordingly due to enormous lobbying efforts of the Canadian government (the very same government that is heavily lobbying for tar sands in the US and just dropped its Kyoto Protocol committments) this debate is dragging on and some European states are now reconsidering their positions and may say that tar sands are not any more harmful than conventional oil. 

Tar sands imports into the EU are very minimal but many environmental advocats in Europe fear that if the EU – which is often seen as one of the most environmental aware governmental bodies – is not clearly highlighting the devastating effects of tar sands other governments might take that as an invitation to say “well, if even the EU doesn’t have a problem with tar sands they cannot be that bad, right?” to justify their own interests in introducing tar sands. 

In this context it’s nice to see European MEPs siding with the growing number of European citizens that are educated about the devastating effects of tar sands for our climate and are demanding from their governments to clearly put peoples interest before profits interest. 

More information can be found on the webpage of the EU parliament here and here



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