Coal Subsidies Will be Cut by the Dutch Government
|April 21, 2014||Posted by Staff under Environmental, Subsidies & Waste & Public Debt|
This 2014 excerpt of a 350.org press release, Mar 26, is by Melanie Mattauch.
The Netherlands will join the United States, United Kingdom, and others in ending support for public financing for new coal-fired power plants.
Norway has set up a group to see if its $840bn oil fund (the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund) should stop investing in fossil fuel companies.
Despite its climate commitments, the World Bank increased its funding for fossil fuel projects between 2012 and 2013.
Ed. Notes: While a step in the right direction, a bigger step would to de-fund not just new plants but old ones, too. And the reason would not just be for the environment. An even better reason is that subsidies in general are a bad idea. People relying on governments, and governments claiming to know what’s best, is what got coal and fossil fuels subsidized in the first place. And if any business can afford to succeed without subsidies it’s the filthy (literally) rich coal, oil, and gas industries.
Indeed, rather than get subsidies, the owners of those hunks of nature should pay rent for their claims on our common natural heritage. Government could collect the rents and use the revenue to pay citizens a dividend, a la Alaska’s oil share. Once citizens receive their share, they won’t need as much government, so government can downsize and lower its taxes.
Lower taxes on our efforts, coupled with higher charges for polluting, extracting, and exclusive ownership of locations, would both prod us and reward us for producing efficiently. We could have greater human-made abundance along with a healthier environment. Yes, geonomics is that powerful.