Thursday 13th June, 11.15am, Parliament Square, Westminster, London
Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is coming to London on Thursday, en route to the G8 summit. He's been invited to give a prestigious address to Parliament – a rare honour normally reserved for the most highly-respected dignitaries.
Harper does not deserve this honour. He has spent the last few years promoting the destructive tar sands industry, eroding Indigenous rights, weakening environmental regulations in Canada, lobbying against EU climate legislation, muzzling scientists, and helping keep the world fixed on a collision course with runaway climate change by pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol. His government is currently mired in scandal and sleaze. What was the UK thinking in extending this invitation?
The EU is negotiating a Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) with the aim of encouraging the use of low-carbon transport fuels and discouraging the use of high-emission fuel. It aims to reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions from road transport by 6% before 2020. It would essentially encourage the use of cleaner and lower-carbon fuels over those with a higher carbon footprint. This could have implications for Canada’s tar sands producers since, in general, more greenhouse gas emissions are produced in the extraction and refining of tar sands than in producing and refining conventional oil.
We need to make sure Harper does not get the warm welcome he is hoping for in London. We will stand in solidarity with First Nations in Canada whose territories and communities are being devastated by tar sands extraction. We will make it clear that we are determined to keep tar sands oil out of Europe. We will protest together for a cleaner fairer energy future.
Join us on Thursday in making Harper feel unwelcome, showing him that we in the UK are against filthy tar sands, nor do we want them in Europe. We need to show him that we support the FQD's classification of tar sands as a highly pollutant fuel.