Europe in favour of oil sands-friendly deal with Canada

Alberta’s oil sands companies. (Image from archives.)

The European Union Parliament has voted in favour of pushing ahead with a trade deal that would allow Canadian oil sand producers to export more crude to the old continent.

Ottawa and the EU signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in October last year, not without facing first resistance from a region of Belgium, Austria and other countries.

CETA advocates says the pact will boost Canadian-EU trade by 20%, bringing 12 billion euros ($12.8 billion) into the EU a year, and about Cdn$12 billion ($9.2 billion) into Canada’s economy.

Opponents, EUBusiness reports, worry the deal could make it easier for companies to sue governments that use environmental regulations to attempt moving their economies away from fossil fuels.

They base their concerns on the fact that the deal includes a mechanism known as investor-state dispute settlements, which could allow firms to sue countries that ban crude from oil sands.