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Canada threatens EU over tar sands | EurActiv

Canada is threatening trade retaliation if the EU tries to tighten regulations on oil from its highly polluting tar sands in a Fuel Quality Directive, according to documents seen by EurActiv.

The papers emerged after a freedom of information request to see EU documents related to tar sands - also known as oil sands - was lodged by Transport and Environment, an environmental organisation. 

But the documents were only released in heavily censored form by the EU Ombudsman P. Nikiforos Diamandouros because full disclosure "would seriously affect the current trade negotiations and Canada's relations with the EU," Diamandouros said in a statement.

Negotiations between Ottawa and Brussels on an EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement worth as much as $20 billion have been ongoing since 2009.

The Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht has described them as the EU's "most ambitious [free trade negotiations] so far."

But one EU `steering brief' about a June 2010 meeting between the Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and Isabelle Muller, secretary-general of the oil refining association Europia, revealed how the two issues had become intertwined.

by Nomad on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 04:59:25 PM EST
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