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Report Criticizes Canada’s Climate Change Commitment

September 15, 2009

Canada’s effort to expand extraction of oil from tar sands in the Alberta province was criticized by Greenpeace on Monday when the environmental group accused the country of contributing to a “global climate crisis,” AFP reported.

Canada, along with Japan, is seeking to block progress towards a new global climate change agreement to be finalized at a December summit in Copenhagen, according to the Greenpeace report entitled “Dirty Oil”.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama will meet on Wednesday to discuss expanded extraction from the tar sands. Canada is the biggest supplier of oil for the United States.

The report accused Canada of being a “global carbon bully” that is working to undermine the emissions goals set by the Kyoto climate change treaty.

Greenpeace also said the country was engaging in “outspoken, aggressive” lobbying to obstruct agreement on new greenhouse gas limits to be negotiated at the Copenhagen summit.

Journalist Andrew Nikiforuk, an expert on tar sands, worked on the report after being commissioned by Greenpeace.

Mike Hudema, a Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner, said the analysis connects the dots and shows how the tar sands are at the leading edge of climate destruction.

Greenpeace said the extraction of oil from tar sands is much more energy-intensive than other oil extraction operations, meaning that the tar sands have a higher carbon footprint than any other commercial oil product on Earth.

The report went on to say that some products are now 10 times dirtier than production of oil in the North Sea.

Canadian environmentalists have looked to Obama to slow the development of oil extraction from the tar fields and break with the policy of former U.S. president George W. Bush.

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