Canada to send tar sands oil to India and China

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Canada: Natural resources minister Joe Oliver has said the country must develop other markets beyond the US for its high-emitting tar sands oil. “We want to nurture our relationship with the United States but we know that it will be inadequate for all our oil production, and so we need to move west to the Asia-Pacific market, particularly to China,” he told reporters. “Going east would bring us closer to India.” (Reuters)

Tar sands are more energy intensive to exploit and dirtier when burned (Source: Shell)

The decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport the fuel to the US, has been bogged down in red tape and controversy but a decision from the US State Department due in the coming months.

Pipelines to shift the oil to ports on the west coast and for shipping to Asia have met fierce resistance from a number of groups including indigenous people.

Last week the Department released a report questioning the link between Keystone XL and rising greenhouse gas emissions that some say would be inevitable once the oil is exploited.

NASA climate scientist James Hansen has said it would be “game over” for the climate if Canada’s tar sands are fully exploited.

The EU is working on legislation that would classify the oil as dirtier than regular crude, making it more expensive and all but closing the European market to the tar sands.

Germany: The German utility RWE has announced it is selling off its oil and gas exploration subsidy. The firm has been hit hard by sweeping changes in the German energy market as the country closes down its nuclear power stations to replace them with renewables. (Financial Times, subscription required)

Philippines: The head of planning of the Philippines’ second largest city Davao has said the thought of having t prepare for climate change “is scary”.

“Can we handle everything? We haven’t solved problems from the past 20 years – including sanitation – and now we have to think about [climate-related] problems for the next 20 years,” said Roberto Alabado III. (IRIN)

USA: The Governor of Washington State is to press ahead with his climate change bill despite efforts to water down language on the state’s vulnerability and the benefits of low carbon energy by Republicans. In a mirror image of the national debate, the Governor, Jay Inslee, now says both sides must work to find middle ground. (Seattle Times)

UK: Energy and Climate Secretary of State Ed Davey has been presented with the ‘Climate Week Declaration’ by organiser Kevin Steele

The declaration reads as follows:

Britain must do all it can to create a secure, prosperous and sustainable future by helping to prevent climate change.

We call on the government to maintain its commitment to the Climate Change Act by taking further steps to encourage investment in the green economy, greater use of renewable energy and positive action across society.

The Energy Bill currently being considered in Parliament is an important and urgent example of the commitment needed. We urge the government to act on the recommendation from its own Committee on Climate Change to include decarbonisation targets in the Energy Bill.

Japan: The Fukushima nuclear disaster could cost the country as much as $700bn. Compensation is estimated at $400-600bn and decommissioning at a further $100bn. (Reuters)

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