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Fossil Fuels twitter storm fossil fuel subsidies

Published on June 8th, 2012 | by NRDC


Twitter Storm to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies

June 8th, 2012 by  

twitter storm fossil fuel subsidies

Oakland, 7 June 2012 — Campaigning organizations from around the world will join forces on June 18 for a 24-hour ‘Twitter storm’ in which tens of thousands of messages will be posted on the social networking site demanding that world leaders use Rio+20 to agree to end fossil fuel subsidies.

The 24 hour clock will start at 6PM UTC in Sydney, when activists will begin to flock to Twitter with messages that will also be projected in iconic spots in Sydney, New Delhi, London, Rio, and other locations. In recent weeks campaigning groups have collected over 1 million signatures demanding that leaders act now to end subsidies and start to invest in clean energy solutions. (1)

According to figures compiled by Oil Change International, countries together are spending as much as $1 trillion dollars annually on fossil fuel subsidies. (2) The International Energy Agency estimates that by cutting these subsidies, the world can cut global warming causing emissions in half and significantly contribute to preventing a 2 degree temperature rise, the number most scientists say we need to stay under to prevent runaway climate change. (3)

“We are giving twelve times as much in subsidies to fossil fuels as we are providing to clean energy, like wind and solar. World leaders shouldn’t be subsidizing the destruction of our planet, especially since these subsidies are cooking our planet,” said Jake Schmidt, International Climate Policy Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

In May, leaders of the G20 again pledged to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. They first made the commitment in 2009 but have yet to implement the policy change at the country level.

While global warming emissions rise and gas prices spike, fossil fuel companies continue to make massive profits, which brings into doubt the need for subsidies. ExxonMobil, for example, paid an effective US federal tax rate in 2010 of 17.2 percent, while the average American paid 28 percent.

Participating organizations include 350.org, Avaaz, Greenpeace. Oil Change International, Natural Resources Defense Council, and others.

Image: twitter bird via Shutterstock

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is the nation's most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.3 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists, and other professionals.

  • Parichag

    This is some environmental gobble gook. What are the subsidies for? Do they use them to research clean oil technologies, are they used to subsidize basic research into safer cleaner ways of providing energy? Are the subsidies helping to create jobs throughout the economy? Are the subsidies related to other technologies like software development, global supply chain effectiveness, automotive technology upgrades? Any of these types of subsidies have intended and unintended consequences. BTW, coal is not used in the variety of ways as oil and natural gas, so obviously there are more subsidies going to oil and natural gas research and development.
    No, I don’t work for the oil industry in any way, but to reduce the subsidies may have unintended consequences – the least of which may be a massive layoffs or even the death of certain other industries like plastics or roads, construction packaging or even basic research. Reducing subsidies on one industry ignores the possible unintended consequences of economic disasters in other industries and even some governments might be impacted by this.

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  • yoshhash

    What an awesome and well-focused campaign! Does anyone have a link to a current compilation of what these subsidies are around the world, (ie Canada?) Info I am finding is quite spotty.

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