German Scientists Quit Oil Sands Project over Climate Concerns

An oil sands facility seen from a helicopter near Fort McMurray, Alta.

An oil sands facility seen from a helicopter near Fort McMurray, Alta.

 

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.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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