Sunday, May 12, 2013

Oil tar sands gets sticky

I had blogged about the issue of oil tar sands more than a year ago here, here and here. It is essentialy related to a potential dispute between Canada and the EU over labelling of oil extracted from the tar sands of Canada as more polluting than other conventional fuels.

I thought the controversy had died down but it seems to have erupted once again with this recent report that Canada is considering taking EU to the dispute settlement mechanism as the measure is allegedly discriminatory.

An interesting comparison with beer consumption in the EU is brought out here by Friends of Science who argue that the labelling is discriminatory:
“In Canada we create useful fuel products from the Alberta oil sands that drive world industry,” says Maier. “We also don’t come to the EU with a “Stop the Beer-maggedon” campaign trying to destabilize your economy.” 
According to calculations by Friends of Science, EU beer production accounts for 0.4% of EU carbon emissions. That means carbon dioxide emissions attributed to total EU beer production is more than half of the emissions from the oil sands – all just for entertainment and getting drunk, while oil sands provides the energy for value-added industrial development and jobs."
So, less of beer and oil from tar sands in the coming years? 

Will watch this space for a potential WTO challenge...

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