Eradicating fossil fuel subsidies would boost the global economy, environment and energy security, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday, referring to a pledge made by G20 countries.
G20 leaders committed in Pittsburgh in 2009 to phase out, over the medium-term, inefficient fossil fuel subsidies which encouraged wasteful consumption.
“Eradicating subsidies to fossil fuels would enhance energy security, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution, and bring economic benefits,” said the IEA, the energy watchdog to 28 industrialized countries, in its annual set-piece World Energy Outlook.
The report estimated such subsidies at $312 billion in 2009, mostly in developing countries, compared with $57 billion in subsidies for renewable energy.
Eliminating fossil fuel consumption subsidies by 2020 would cut global energy demand by 5 percent and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 6 percent by then, said the IEA report.
Economists say that governments should support low-carbon energy alternatives, or else penalize fossil fuels, to take account of the damage that greenhouse gas emissions will cause the climate, and blame fossil fuel subsidies for encouraging energy waste and for undermining greener alternatives.
A graphic lesson in who holds sway over political power in most of the modern world.
Scientists, educators, activists on behalf of humanity and nature vs. the Oil Patch Boys and Coal Barons. Not a fair contest by any measure – when it’s obvious who owns the referees.