WORLD GETS WHAT IT PAYS FOR
Governments Spend $1.4 Billion Per Day to Destabilize Climate
Lester Brown, January 19, 2012 (EcoWatch)
"We distort reality when we omit the health and environmental costs associated with burning fossil fuels from their prices. When governments actually subsidize their use, they take the distortion even further. Worldwide, direct fossil fuel subsidies added up to roughly $500 billion in 2010…
"…[S]upports on the production side totaled some $100 billion. Supports for consumption exceeded $400 billion, with $193 billion for oil, $91 billion for natural gas, $3 billion for coal and $122 billion spent subsidizing the use of fossil fuel-generated electricity. All together, governments are shelling out nearly $1.4 billion per day to further destabilize the earth’s climate."
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"The government of Iran spent the most on promoting fossil fuel consumption in 2010, doling out $81 billion in subsidies…20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Saudi Arabia was a distant second at $44 billion. Rounding out the top five were Russia ($39 billion), India ($22 billion) and China ($21 billion)…Kuwait’s fossil fuel subsidies were highest on a per capita basis, with $2,800 spent per person. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar followed, each spending close to $2,500 per person…
"In contrast to the $500 billion in fossil fuel supports in 2010, renewable energy received just $66 billion in subsidies—two thirds for electricity generation from wind, biomass and other sources, and one third for biofuels…[A] long legacy of governments propping up oil, coal and natural gas has resulted in a very uneven energy playing field…A world facing economically disruptive climate change can no longer justify subsidies to expand the burning of coal and oil…"