From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Brits Are Not Amused: A Tale of Fibs & Desperation

The Brits are not amused with us at the moment, In a meeting with the British Foreign Office, Canada’s trade commissioner in the UK, Sushma Gera has reportedly informed UK officials that the Harper government is considering filing a challenge with the WTO over the EU's Fuel Quality Directive claiming support from Spain, Estonia and Poland . Not surprising or controversial as the EU has filed a similar challenge over Ontario's Green Energy Initiative.

 What does have the UK and the state of  California upset is that she lied to the UK officials about the status of California's attempts to implement a comparable low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), by saying they had collapsed.  “the US consideration of similar measures had just failed, as it was ‘unimplementable.’

 This prompted California's Air Resources Board to fire off a letter to EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard stating that LCFS was far from dead and in fact continues to roll out.

“We believe that a robust greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation to address transportation fuels like LCFS must account for differences in the carbon intensity of crudes,” the letter says.
“The principle of accounting for the lifecycle GHG emissions of transportation fuels, including those associated with the production and transportation of crude oil continues to be an important feature of the LCFS,” it says.

Needless to say the British are not amused and feel frustrated that what they see as a routine meeting to set the backdrop for a Cabinet decision is causing public relations blowback for the Foreign Office.

 Also discussed at this meeting was that Canada is refusing to link the tar sands to the ongoing CETA talks making just about the only sector not on the table. With water, increased drug patent protection and local procurement on the agenda it is beyond sad that the only sector they aren't willing to sell out to the EU is the tar sands. In fact they are so focused on promoting the tar sands in Europe that between September 2009 and July 2011, Canadian government and oil industry representatives organised more than 110 lobby events in Brussels.

That they are prepared to lie to our friends and allies and put at risk valuable relationships in their zeal to protect the tar sands is a sad testament to how far this government will go to see it's agenda come to fruition 

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