Friday, January 27, 2012

Canadian Prime Minister Criticized Over Tar Sands Development at Davos

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper advocated for European investment and reiterated his support for oil expansion. Harper is concerned about the new European Fuel Quality Directive, which targets dirty sources of energy, like Alberta's tar sands.

According to a March 2011 document from the government's "pan-European oilsands advocacy strategy," released through access to information legislation, "Europe is not an important market for oilsands-derived products, [however] Europe legislation/regulation, such as the EU Fuel Quality Directive, has the potential to impact the industry globally,"

The document outlined the government's goals to "target" European politicians — "especially from the ruling and influential parties" — to lobby against climate-change policies that would require oilsands producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

At the meeting in Davos, the founder of the annual World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, called for delegates to undertake a "great transformation" that would challenge some of the basic tenets of capitalism.

Other business leaders including Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney, have called for leaders to fuel growth and jobs in a way that is environmentally sustainable.

Harper was told that doing business is not just about making money but is also about bolstering Canadian society, said participant Monique Leroux, chief executive of Desjardins Group.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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