21 December 2011

Chiquita si, tar sands no

Chiquita Brands has caused a bit of a flutter on the Canadian scene by announcing it will avoid using fuel from Alberta's tar sands. The company says it has joined 13 other companies in trying to reduce its carbon footprint.

The announcement is timely. According to an industry report, the intensity of tar sands carbon emissions—the amount of greenhouse gases created per barrel of oil produced—increased by two per cent from 2009 to 2010. The industry, and the Alberta government, have both made much of reductions in intensity even as overall emissions increase with increased production. Now even intensities are increasing.

This will not help the Alberta government meet its commitments for greenhouse gas emissions. According to a report by the Pembina Institute, if the province doesn't implement significantly stronger measures, its target for reducing emissions by 2020 will fall short by 70 per cent.

Chiquita's action is not universally appreciated, however. A group of tar sands cheerleaders has announced a boycott of the company. Not surprisingly, a couple of federal ministers have announced their support. Chiquita has offered many good reasons to be boycotted over the years—this is not one of them.

1 comment:

  1. There's an excellent post entitled 'Canadian Officials Privately Admit "an Absence of Credible Scientific Evidence" That Tar Sands Are Getting Cleaner' over at Climateprogress.org. The word is spreading. Particularly galling when one considers Peter Kent's ravings at Durbin that the Tar Sands are a responsible and sustainable resource that Canada is proud of. One can only hope that the Cons and the oil industry will get trapped in their own web of lies and misinformation about the environmental nightmare taking place in Alberta. Can't find any Chiquita bananas locally, but when I do, I will buy a bunch.