Posted by Big Gav
The Daily Green has a look at taxpayer handouts to the fossil fuel industry - The World Spends $300 Billion Subsidizing Fossil Fuels - "The Cost of Eliminating Fossil Fuels? Maybe No More than the Cost of Burning Them". This is only direct subsidies - if you add in the costs related to controlling these resources (like the $3 trillion being spent on the Iraq war) you'd get an even clearer picture of the value of shifting to clean energy quickly.
The world is spending $300 billion every year to subsidize fossil fuels that pollute the air, wreck the climate ... and run the world's economy.
So what if we, as taxpayers, stopped spending $300 billion on coal, oil and natural gas, and started spending it instead on wind, sun and water?
That's the question at the heart of a new report from the United Nations Environment Program, which concludes that eliminating fuel subsidies would not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but might just inspire new economic growth. (Further, it concludes that fossil fuels subsidies sold as a way to help the poor keep the lights on actually do more to help the rich.)
“In the final analysis many fossil fuel subsidies are introduced for political reasons but are simply propping up and perpetuating inefficiencies in the global economy – they are thus part of the market failure that is climate change,” UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.