As revealed by Greenpeace recently, the UK is toeing the Canadian government’s line on the FQD, by refusing to support a distinction between tar sands fuel and conventional oil. The UK is one of the larger EU countries and its vote could mean the difference between the proposal passing or failing. The UK has been one of the more disruptive member states as it continues to push the Commission to adopt a different proposal that does not distinguish between tar sands and conventional fuel.
But this could change. Last year the UK government was set to vote against the FQD and at the last minute, due to heavy campaign pressure, abstained. This year we plan to apply pressure to the UK government to ensure it votes to support the FQD at the next vote when the time comes.
The UK Coalition government may be predominantly Conservative but the responsibility for the UK’s position on the FQD lies with Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Susan Kramer. Kramer is new to this post and may provide a refreshing change of direction from the frustrating exchanges we’ve had with former Minister Norman Baker.