Even the IMF Shows It's So
Fossil Fuel Subsidies: A Global Scandal
Fossil fuel subsidies are a global scandal. Should governments shift funds to energy efficiency and renewable energy or share the revenue with citizens? This 2013 excerpt is from EcoWatch, Mar 28.
by World Wildlife Fund (WWF)The IMF assessment shows that global fossil fuel subsidies—including carbon pollution impacts from fossil fuels—account for almost nine percent of all annual country budgets, amounting to a staggering US$1.9 trillion, much higher than previously estimated.
The poorest 20 percent of developing countries only marginally benefit from energy subsidies.
Removing these subsidies would reduce carbon pollution by 13 percent.
Almost half of fossil fuel subsidies occur in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations. The U.S., with about US$500 billion annually, accounts for more than one quarter of all global fossil fuel subsidies, followed by China with almost US$300 billion and Russia (US$115 billion).
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JJS: When politicians and bureaucrats get to pick the right corporations and engineers, they often get it wrong, wasting millions of dollars. They get pressured by insiders -- it is the political arena, after all. And even when they’re on they’re on their best behavior, they can be easily taken in by the better salesman, not by the better scientist. And what’s their motive to get it right? They’re not spending their own money.
Makes one wonder why wannabe do-gooders are so trusting in Big Brother. Sure, government gets it right sometimes. But if our problems are as serious as they say, we really must raise the bar of expectations.
The results could be much better if we simply paid people a dividend from the value of land -- and hence from the health of Earth -- and de-taxed people’s efforts, so we’d all have more money to invest. At the same time, make polluters pay, so we couldn’t profit if we were to invest in fossil fuels. Then trust to the wisdom of the populace. It should come out all right.
Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .
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