Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute, says IMF
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: May 24th, 2015
Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF ... says the figure is an extremely robust estimate of the true cost of fossil fuels. The $5.3tn subsidy estimated for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the worlds governments. The vast sum is largely due to polluters not paying the costs imposed on governments by the burning of coal, oil and gas. The biggest single source of air pollution is coal-fired power stations and China, with its large population and heavy reliance on coal power, provides $2.3tn of the annual subsidies. The next biggest fossil fuel subsidies are in the US ($700bn), Russia ($335bn), India ($277bn) and Japan ($157bn), with the European Union collectively allowing $330bn in subsidies to fossil fuels. Subsidy reforms are beginning in dozens of countries including Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco and Thailand. In India, subsidies for diesel ended in October 2014. Coal use has also begun to fall in China for the first time this century. Shelagh Whitley, a subsidies expert at the Overseas Development Institute, said: Our research shows that many of the energy subsidies highlighted by the IMF go toward finding new reserves of oil, gas and coal, which we know must be left in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic, irreversible climate change.
Note: The additional cost of suppressing new energy technologies does not appear to have been included in these IMF estimates.