EU policy makers propose scrapping mandatory tar sands label

Tue Oct 7, 2014 6:00am EDT
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* Canada lobbied fiercely against previous proposal

* Policy includes method for distinguishing various fuels

* Member states still have to debate the plan

By Barbara Lewis

BRUSSELS, Oct 7 (Reuters) - The European Commission on Tuesday proposed scrapping a mandatory requirement to label tar sands oil as highly polluting after years of industry opposition.

The new proposal abandons one obstacle to Canada shipping crude from tar sands to Europe and is likely to draw strong criticism from environmental campaigners and Green politicians.

It is suggested in a revised draft law on how refiners report the carbon intensity of the fuel they supply.

The debate about labelling tar sands, also known as oil sands, dates back to 2009 when EU member states approved legislation with the aim of cutting greenhouse gases from transport fuel sold in Europe by 6 percent by 2020, but failed to agree how to implement it.

In 2011, the Commission, the European Union executive, agreed tar sands should be given a carbon value a fifth higher than for conventional oil, but member states could not agree and the Commission has been reconsidering the proposal ever since.   Continued...