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SFU's Mark Jaccard speaks out against oilsands

05/11/2013 02:02 EDT | Updated 07/11/2013 05:12 EDT
Renowned SFU professor Mark Jaccard will be travelling to Europe today, to argue for an end to the expansion of the Alberta oilsands.

Jaccard, who is a professor of sustainable energy at Simon Fraser University, says the building of oil pipelines are preventing the country from significantly reducing greenhouse gases, despite a pledge from the government to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and again in 2050.

- FAQs: Keystone XL oil pipeline project

"The Europeans are incurring costs to reach their 2020 reduction targets. The Americans are incurring costs to meet their 2020 target and are on a path to achieve it," Jaccard told CBC News.

"Canada, by our own Auditor General, is not on a path to reach the 2020 target and the key reason is the oilsands."

The EU has singled out heavy crude from the oilsands as the most damaging to the world's climate.

Jaccard received a formal invitation to speak at the European Parliament as the region considers a Fuel Quality Directive policy.

He will also be speaking at The Hague and at the London School of Economics.

"I'm not opposed to the use of fossil fuels. We just can't have growing carbon pollution," Jaccard told CBC News.

"Canada is kind of the gross example right now... saying two different things. They understand the science yet, on the other hand, they are working hard to enable the building of pipelines whether in British Columbia or Keystone in the States, that over the next few years will double output."

- Joe Oliver slams scientist's oilsands claims as 'nonsense'

- Government should 'grow up' on climate change, scientist says

On Thursday Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Canada may dispute that claim to the World Trade Organization. A day later, he softened the stance saying going to the WTO would be a last resort.

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