- The fossil fuel industry receives $11 million in government subsidies every minute, according to a report by the IMF.
- “Some countries are reluctant to raise energy prices because they think it will harm the poor…It would be better to target resources towards helping poor and vulnerable people directly,” said the lead author of the IMF report.
- “The IMF report is a sobering reading, pointing to one of the major defects of the global economy,” said Maria Pastukhova from the thinktank e3g.
“The fossil fuel industry benefits from subsidies of $11m every minute, according to analysis by the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF found the production and burning of coal, oil and gas was subsidised by $5.9tn in 2020, with not a single country pricing all its fuels sufficiently to reflect their full supply and environmental costs. Experts said the subsidies were “adding fuel to the fire” of the climate crisis, at a time when rapid reductions in carbon emissions were urgently needed.
Explicit subsidies that cut fuel prices accounted for 8% of the total and tax breaks another 6%. The biggest factors were failing to make polluters pay for the deaths and poor health caused by air pollution (42%) and for the heatwaves and other impacts of global heating (29%).
Setting fossil fuel prices that reflect their true cost would cut global CO2 emissions by over a third, the IMF analysts said. This would be a big step towards meeting the internationally agreed 1.5C target. Keeping this target within reach is a key goal of the UN Cop26 climate summit in November…”
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