$0.5 trillion: Subsidies from States to Fossil Fuelers Every Year
|November 22, 2013||Posted by Staff under Environmental, Subsidies & Waste & Public Debt|
This 2013 of BBC, Nov 6, is by Matt McGrath.
According to the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), 75% of energy project support from international banks went to fossil fuel projects in 12 of the highest emitting developing nations.
The ODI says rich countries are spending seven times more supporting coal, oil and gas than they are on helping poorer nations fight climate change.
- The US government in 2011 gave a $1bn fuel tax exemption to farmers, $1bn for the strategic petroleum reserve, and $0.5bn for oil, coal, and gas research and development.
- Germany gave financial assistance totalling 1.9bn euro to the hard coal sector in the same year.
- And the UK gave tax concessions worth £280m in 2011 for oil and gas production.
Some countries including Egypt, Morocco, and Pakistan, have subsidies bigger than the national fiscal deficit.
“This is a reckless use of public money,” said Kevin Watkins, executive director of the ODI.
Reform is possible; Iran cut fuel subsidies and replaced them with direct cash transfers to the poor.
The new report calls on the G20 to phase out the payments by 2020. “You’d have a win for taxpayers, a win for governments north and south and you’d have a win for the planet as well.”
Ed. Notes: You must be pretty powerful to win subsidies even when you can’t possibly need them, as do oil companies, raking in billions every quarter. And the money they rake in is ours, its common wealth, it’s the worth of Earth, it’s our joint heritage in the gifts of nature, it’s all our spending for all the fossil fuels we use while still in the ground. It’s not the return on exploring or extracting or shipping or refining; returns to those efforts are totally legit. It’s the value of oil and gas while still untouched that belongs to us all.