The world’s governments spent $775 billion to subsidize fossil fuel production and use in 2012, compared to only $101 billion for renewable energy in 2013, Oil Change International and the London-based Overseas Development Institute reported earlier this month.
“Just as the biggest carbon producers China and the United States announce a joint commitment to battle climate change,” Pettis writes, “governments around the world are actually spending billions in taxpayer cash that effectively makes the problem worse.” Greenhouse gas subsidies can be calculated in many ways, he says, and a 2013 report from the International Monetary Fund calculated the global total at $2 trillion.
“Without those subsidies, greenhouse gas production would plunge 13%.”
On grist.org, climate specialist David Roberts notes that G20 countries are still funneling $88 billion per year into oil and gas exploration, five years after they promised to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.
“Besides exacerbating climate change and all of the other problems that come with fossil fuel development, this public subsidy money is propping up fossil fuel exploration even in areas where the market wouldn’t support it,” he writes.