Citizen Action Monitor

Protesters’ “Oil Orgy Strip” ridicules UK officials cozying up to Canada’s tar sands

No 309 Posted by fw, October 22, 2011

It was an oily metaphorical pas de deux. Definitely not the classiest or most effective activist protest on record. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that the “Oil Orgy Strip” was a daring attempt to embarrass British Prime Minister David Cameron for backing the Harper government’s position that the EU is “unfairly discriminating” against the tar sands. (Bet a lot of Canadians don’t know that). The cold, stunned, silent reaction of the dignitaries – who didn’t seem to know where to look – perhaps told us more about them than they would care for us to know.

Anyway, watch this short video clip and then read the accompanying report published by the UK Tar Sands Network. Is it just my imagination or are UK tar sands activists out-stripping their Canadian counterparts?

”Oil Orgy” Invades Energy Summit, October 11, 2011

Protesters interrupted the Canada-Europe Energy Roundtable in London today, to expose the UK government’s opposition to European legislation, which would label tar sands oil as highly polluting. The campaigners stripped down to Union Jack boxers and maple leaf underwear and covered each other with oil while kissing and groping in a provocative ‘oil orgy’.

“We interrupted the Energy Round table today because the UK and Canadian government’s flirtations are developing into friends with benefits. This seedy relationship puts profits for the oil industry and banks ahead of much needed legislation which will curb emissions from transport fuel in Europe,” said UK Tar Sands Network campaigner Emily Coats. (Minister for Transport, Norman Baker, stated the UK government will oppose an inclusion of a tar sands value). [Don’t be fooled: ‘oppose’ in this context is not good].

Since PM Cameron’s visit to Canada last month, the UK government has been echoing the position of the Canadian government that the EU is ‘unfairly discriminating’ against the Canadian tar sands. Contrary to Canada’s claims that the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) will discriminate against the tar sands, the current FQD proposal also includes values for other unconventional oil feed stocks, such as shale oil.

“The UK government is supporting sleazy Canadian lobbying efforts and today’s Energy summit shows just how intimate they have become to promote the tar sands industry,” said Pete the Temp, climate campaigner and performance poet (see petethetemp.co.uk)

Despite extensive lobbying by the Canadian government over the last year, last Tuesday the European Commission announced its recommendation that tar sands fuel should be assigned an accurate value in order to account for the higher emissions caused by tar sands extraction.

“A Canadian government body proved that tar sands extraction is very filthy, yet the Harper government is increasing extraction of bitumen without full scientific knowledge of the impacts on the local environment and the global climate.” said Coats.

In the upcoming weeks the UK will continue to receive Canadian officials as Canada attempts to secure the UK as an ally to stall the FQD directive, which has already received extensive support from the EU commission. The controversial UK government support for the Canadian tar sands industry has received disapproval and outrage from UK climate activists, which shall escalate as the relationship deepens.

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