stated just one week ahead of the 5 June World Environment Day, which focuses this year on air pollution, caused chiefly by the use of fossil fuels both in transport, industry and even household cooking, heating, etc.- Perhaps the most direct way to introduce this tough issue is what the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres,
“Subsidising fossil fuels means spending taxpayers’ money to “boost hurricanes, to spread droughts, to melt glaciers, to bleach corals: to destroy the world,” the UN chief warned, adding that “We need to tax pollution, not people.” “End subsidies for fossil fuels.”
A corporation that knows much about money –the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that, globally, subsidies remained large at 4.7 trillion dollars (6.3 percent of global GDP) in 2015 and were projected at 5.2 trillion dollars (6.5 percent of GDP) in 2017.
Its 2 May 2019 Working Paper Global Fossil Fuel Subsidies Remain Large, updates estimates of fossil fuel subsidies, defined as fuel consumption times the gap between existing and efficient prices (i.e., prices warranted by supply costs, environmental costs, and revenue considerations), for 191 countries.
“The largest subsidisers in 2015 were China (1.4 trillion dollars), United States (649 billions), Russia (551 billions), European Union (289 billions), and India (209 billion dollars),” it reports.
And it adds that “about three quarters of global subsidies are due to domestic factors—energy pricing reform thus remains largely in countries own national interest—while coal and petroleum together account for 85 percent of global subsidies.”
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