German Scientists Quit Oil Sands Project over Climate Concerns
EDMONTON — Pressure over environmental concerns has forced Germany’s largest scientific organization to pull out of joint research with Alberta on better ways to upgrade oilsands bitumen. German scientists with the Helmholtz-Alberta Initiative will no longer work on such projects, Bernd Schneider, lead scientific co-ordinator for the Helmholtz Association, said Tuesday.
“There is an ongoing campaign here in Germany with regard to oilsands, but also with regard to climate protection,” Schneider said. “We have this energy transition discussion here in Germany, which is quite intensive.”
The initiative was created in 2011 with a five-year, $25-million commitment from the Alberta government, in addition to other funding. The plan was to bring together the University of Alberta and one of Europe’s largest scientific groups to improve environmental and engineering performance in the oilsands.
The German share of the research funding is eight million euros over five years.