Fossil Fuel Subsidies Still on the Rise Despite Pledge for Reductions

image courtesy of lirena under Flickr's creative commons license
Author: Travis Leipzig

Despite the 2009 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) adoption of the Declaration on Green Growth, and commitments by both the G-20 and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that artificially lower fuel prices and encourage wasteful consumption, fossil fuel subsidies continued to increase by almost 25% from 2009 rates reaching nearly half a Trillion dollars 2010 - and is expected to continue to rise drastically without significant reform.

According to Reuters, EIA's Chief Economist Faith Birol told reporters that "without further reform, spending on fossil fuel consumption subsidies is set to reach $660 billion in 2020, or 0.7 percent of global gross domestic product." Are these multi-governmental groups reneging on their 2009 commitments? Well, there have been some efforts by certain countries to remove or decrease these subsidies, some countries showing more effort than others, but others have merely brought up the subject only to see massive confluct and threats of governmental shut-down... ahem U.S. ahem.

Interested to see how much money goes towards subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, by country? check out this webpage, and in particular this interactive map it features, that was created by the IEA. I personally find it interesting that there isn't "sufficient data" on U.S. subsidies for fossil fuel industries.

Fortunately, the IEA and OECD announced new efforts to remove fossil fuel subsidies, again in effort to raise national revenue and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to The Hill's Energy and Environment Blog.

I'll cross my fingers that these changes take place, but I certainly won't hold my breath.

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