(Toronto, Canada) Environmental groups called on nations attending the meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, starting today in Washington, DC, to resist Canada’s lobbying for special treatment for tar sands emissions. A poster and cover letter were mailed to the Ottawa-based embassies of participating countries.

“Canadians expect climate leadership from their government, and not lobbying for loopholes for tar sands polluters,” said Matt Price, Program Manager with Environmental Defence Canada. “Our government has an embarrassing record of blaming other countries for our own failure to rein in oil companies in the tar sands.”

The Government of Canada has earned heavy criticism for obstructing progress at recent climate talks in Bali, Indonesia and Poznan, Poland. Most recently, the federal government has been seeking ‘protection’ for tar sands emissions in the context of a proposed North American agreement on climate and energy.

“The tar sands are the fastest growing source of global warming pollution in Canada and the reason that our country has a black eye on the world stage,” said Gillian McEachern, Senior Energy Campaigner with ForestEthics. “We are calling on world leaders to resist ploys for special treatment for the tar sands.”

U.S. movement towards a cap and trade system for major polluters will force Canada to follow suit. The rules of that system will be debated this year in advance of international climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December. Should Canada design that system to favour the tar sands, this could place an extra burden on other sectors of the economy.

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To see the poster and cover letter mailed to the embassies visit: www.environmentaldefence.ca

For more information or to arrange interviews contact:Jennifer Foulds, 416-323-9521 ext 232
Gillian McEachern, ForestEthics, 416-938-6032