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Prestigious German research institute pulls out of Canadian tar sands project

Source: EuraActiv

EXCLUSIVE / Germany’s largest and most prestigious research institute has pulled out of a Canadian government-funded CAN$25 million research project into sustainable solutions to tar sands pollution, citing fears for its environmental reputation.

As many as 20 scientists at the world-famous Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres have ceased involvement in the Helmholtz Alberta Initiative (HAI), after a moratorium on contacts was declared last month.

“It was seen as a risk for our reputation,” Professor Frank Messner, Helmholtz UFZ’s head of staff said stiffly over the phone from his offices in Leipzig.

“As an environmental research centre we have an independent role as an honest broker and doing research in this constellation could have had reputational problems for us, especially after Canada’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol,” he said.

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Canada is tarnishing its green image by lobbying on behalf of tar sands: First Nations Chief

Source: EurActiv.com

Canada is tarnishing its green image by lobbying on behalf of tar sands, labelled in the EU’s proposed revision of the Fuel Quality Directive as more polluting than conventional oil sources, said Indigenous Chief Bill Erasmus, in an interview with EurActiv.

Bill Erasmus is regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations and the national chief of the Dene, a Canadian indigenous group. He spoke by phone from Germany to EurActiv’s Marc Hall. This interview was edited into a shorter form.

Tell us about the situation of tar sands in Canada. What is your personal experience?

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