The EU and the US are currently the world’s largest trading blocs and, if agreed, the TTIP would be the world’s largest free-trade agreement. EU and US negotiators have repeatedly stated that they aim to make the TTIP a “gold standard” agreement, or a blueprint for future trade agreements. It is therefore of critical importance that the agreement does not undermine social or environmental objectives or the ability of governments to tackle climate change.
In this context, the FQD (Fuel Quality Directive), the European Union’s key policy to tackle greenhouse gas emissions from transport fuels, can be seen as a showcase example of how big business and their lobby groups are using the TTIP negotiations to weaken and delay environmental regulation.
While the US officially claims that it is merely interested in transparent decision-making, letters and emails obtained through access to document requests reveal that the US has acted in concert with fossil fuel interests and has pushed behind the scenes against effective regulations to reduce the climate footprint of the Europe’s transport fuels.
More specifically, US government officials have objected to the treatment of tar sands in the FQD, as this briefing reveals.