"First Nation's delegation spoke to EU parliamentary members, French
government and French investors to address tar sands impacts on First
Nation communities directly counteracting the Canadian Foreign
Department's platform on Tar Sands Development."
FRANCE, May 16 /CNW/ - A small delegation of First Nations members
toured Strasbourg and Paris, France this week to meet with investors,
French government and EU government with a specific message, "Canada is
a developed country with "high" human rights standards yet the tar
sands development is slow genocide for First Nations living within the
extraction zone," said Lionel Lepine, member of the Athabasca Chipewyan
First Nation. "We are losing our culture, language and way of life
which is protected by our treaty rights."
The tour was organized by Friends of the Earth Europe, Friends of the
Earth France and the Indigenous Environmental Network to address Tar
Sands impacts on First Nations communities and the Fuel Quality
Directive (FQD). The European Commission has yet to publish its
proposal on the implementation of the greenhouse gas reduction target
set in the Directive, and this legislation has been the focus of an
aggressive lobby campaign by the Canadian Government. "The Governments
of Alberta and Canada are trying to convince the EU to ignore the
higher emissions from tar sands. However, independent peer reviewed
studies, US Government and European Commission studies show that
synthetic crude derived from tar sands leads to 23% higher greenhouse
gas emissions than conventional fuels used in Europe. There is an
urgent need to stop all development of unconventional oil and gas
reserves and more broadly to end our dependency on fossil fuels"
commented Juliette Renaud, Friends of the Earth France.
"We are calling for a higher standard on tar sands in the EU Fuel
Quality Directive, including separate standards for tar sands open pit
mining and in-situ mining." said Heather Milton-Lightening of the
Indigenous Environmental Network, "We hope this forces other countries
to stop developing, investing and importing Canadian tar sands oil."
Eriel Deranger, one of the First Nation delegation members who attended
the Total Fina AGM in Paris this past week with a clear message for
shareholders, "Total should not be profiteering from development which
is causing human rights violations in our traditional territories. We
now face a lack of access to clean water, air and food in our homelands
due to the massive pollution coming from the Canadian tar sands."
Holly Rakotondralambo, from Madagascar, who was also part of this tour,
concluded: "We hope that the example of Canadian tar sands serves to
draw the consequences and not to repeat the same disaster in other
countries, especially in Africa where the governance is very poor.
Communities in Madagascar are not prepared to face the destructive
impacts of Total's project there and our government doesn't have the
capacity to regulate the activities of these oil companies."
SOURCE Indigenous Environmental Network
For further information:
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