ARCHIVED - New Report Finds Fuel Quality Directive Ineffective

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November 13, 2013

Canada Encourages Cooperation on Effective, Meaningful, Science-based Environmental Measures

OTTAWA — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today issued a statement following the release of a study by ICF International on the proposed implementing measures for the European Union’s (EU) Fuel Quality Directive (FQD).

“Canada supports the EU Commission's objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions for transportation fuels but believes it must be based on science and facts. Unfortunately, the FQD implementation measures, as currently drafted, are unscientific and discriminatory, would discourage disclosure, harm the European refinery industry and not achieve its environmental objective. The study conducted by ICF International, one of the European Commission’s own expert consultants, substantiates Canada’s position.

“In respect to the FQD implementing measures, the new report found that:

  • There is no scientific basis to support the differentiation between conventional and natural bitumen crude oils;
  • The science underpinning the measures is flawed, as it contains significant methodological and data errors;
  • The measures do not account for the range of carbon intensities of conventional crude oil and products consumed in the EU; and
  • The default value for conventional crude could be much higher than the level currently proposed in the implementing measures.

“Furthermore, the FQD implementing measures’ conventional default value likely underestimates significant venting and flaring emissions. Crude from countries with significant venting and flaring, along with most heavy crude oils currently used in the European Union, have GHG emissions that are similar to and, in several instances, higher than Canada’s oil sands.

“Canada provides independently verifiable emissions data which is updated continually and made available to the public, unlike many countries supplying the EU with crude oil. Our regulatory system is transparent and robust and puts the safety of the environment and Canadians first. The FQD implementing measures’ default value in effect discriminates against providers like Canada who are transparent with GHG reporting and rewards countries that are not transparent.

“Canada is prepared to contribute to the European Union’s emissions targets as a constructive, reliable partner on energy and the environment. We hope the European Union will consider this report’s findings as a basis for changes to make the Fuel Quality Directive sound, fair and effective.

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