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EU oilsands policy could spark trade complaint

Ambassador to EU threatens complaint to World Trade Organization

Source:  Copyright 2012, CBC
Date:  February 21, 2012
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Canada has threatened the European Union with action at the World Trade Organization if the bloc's plan to classify oilsands crude as more harmful to the environment than other fuels goes ahead.

David Plunkett, the ambassador to the EU, wrote in a December letter to the bloc's commissioner for climate action that "Canada would not accept oilsands crude being singled out."

"Canada will explore every avenue at its disposal to defend its interests, including at the World Trade Organization," Plunkett wrote in the letter to Connie Hedegaard, dated Dec. 8, 2011.

The letter was obtained by the Friends of the Earth Europe, a non-profit think-tank based in Brussels, through freedom of information laws and given to CBC News.

Darek Urbaniak, extractives industries spokesperson for the think-tank, said he was concerned that Canada was targeting Europe's efforts to cut its emissions in a "manner that is unacceptable."

"It's using ...

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