Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Fossil fuel subsidies 'must end'

Fossil fuel subsidies 'must end' (Monday, 21 June, 2004, By Alex Kirby, BBC News Online environment correspondent)

... a year's worth of global fossil fuel subsidies could "comfortably" pay off sub-Saharan Africa's entire international debt burden, leaving billions of dollars to spare.

The report says these subsidies amount conservatively to about $235bn a year. It argues that they both distort the global economy and hold back the development of renewables.

This is from a study by the New Economics Foundation.

The recommendations outlined in the BBC article are very sound, and I applaud them for their bravery.

  • Implementing the target of the G8 group of industrialised countries to provide at least one billion people with renewable energy by 2010, and increasing the target of access to clean energy by the poorest people to two billion over the next decade
  • Reforming international financial institutions to allow a "dramatic" increase in funding for renewable energy sources in developing countries
  • Phasing out World Bank group subsidies to fossil fuel projects by 2008, and all government subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear energy.