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World Bank: Drop Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Fund Climate Action Instead

Fossil-fueled power plant

Leaked World Bank documents suggest a satisfactory approach to climate change would be for rich nations to eliminate $50 billion a year given in fossil fuel subsidies, and redirect the funds toward efforts in poorer countries to address climate change.

According to The Guardian, the documents were to be presented to the G20 finance ministers in November, and prepared at the request of the leading world economies. They were designed as a template for action in United Nations climate talks.

The papers also state it’s unlikely that public money will be available to raise the $30 billion that rich countries have pledged to use toward climate action in developing nations, or the $100 billion that is to be found by the year 2020.

One section of the paper claims “a starting point should be the removal of subsidies on fossil fuel use. New OECD estimates indicate that reported fossil fuel production and consumption supports in Annex II countries [24 OECD countries] amounted to about $40-$60bn per year in 2005-2010 … if reforms resulted in 20% of the current level of support being redirected to public climate finance, this could yield $10bn per year.”

After a recent report was released about how the world’s population is using a year’s worth of resources in 9 months, this World Bank suggestion may be a smart one, although not intended to be public yet. Developing or industrializing countries are now racking up the highest growth in carbon emissions, so it’s certainly overdue to direct more funds to battle climate change on a global scale. Do we really need subsidies on fossil fuels?

Image CC licensed by glasseyes view: Fossil-fueled power plant.

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