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OECD Governments Continue To Subsidize Fossil Fuels

A new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development confirms the belief that government subsidies to the fossil fuel industry remain high. 

The new report, OECD Inventory of Support Measures for Fossil Fuels 2015, was revealed earlier this week, and details almost 800 spending programs and tax breaks currently used by governments throughout the 34 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, as well as 6 additional emerging G20 nations (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa). 

“The time is ripe for countries to demonstrate they are serious about combating climate change, and reforming harmful fossil fuel support is a good place to start,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

fossil fuels 2015-384x256

In her speech at the launch event for the report, Gurria continued:

“Governments are spending almost twice as much money supporting fossil fuels as is needed to meet the climate-finance objectives set by the international community, which call for mobilising 100 billion US dollars a year by 2020. We must change the course. This new OECD Inventory offers a roadmap to turn around harmful policies that are a relic of the past, when pollution was still seen as a tolerable side effect of economic growth.” 

The report was supported by a database of over 800 individual policies obtained from government sources, and found that the overall value amounted to between $160 and 200 billion annually over the period between 2010 to 2014, “with support for the consumption of petroleum products accounting for the bulk of that amount.”

The underlying conclusion from the report’s findings are that the level of support for fossil fuels is still well above what is necessary. “Although progress has been notable, this edition of the Inventory shows that there remains plenty of room for reform,” the report’s authors note.

A heavier report published by Carbon Tracker Initiative earlier this month similarly found high levels of government subsidies for fossil fuels, and that these subsidies were drastically and unnaturally impacting the global energy market.

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