Fossil fuel subsidies 6% of world GDP: more than all govt health care spending in world

End fossil fuel subsidies and cut CO2 emissions by 20%, also removing any need for renewable energy subsidies.

Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute, says IMF: ‘Shocking’ revelation finds $5.3tn subsidy estimate for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments,

300x251 Subsidies as percent of global GDP, in How Large Are Global Energy Subsidies?, by David Coady, Ian Parry, Louis Sears, and Baoping Shang, 1 May 2015 Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF calls the revelation “shocking” and says the figure is an “extremely robust” estimate of the true cost of fossil fuels. The $5.3tn subsidy estimated for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments.

The vast sum is largely due to polluters not paying the costs imposed on governments by the burning of coal, oil and gas. These include the harm caused to local populations by air pollution as well as to people across the globe affected by the floods, droughts and storms being driven by climate change.

 US taxpayers subsidising world’s biggest fossil fuel companies Read more Nicholas Stern, an eminent climate economist at the London School of Economics, said: “This very important analysis shatters the myth that fossil fuels are cheap by showing just how huge their real costs are. There is no justification for these enormous subsidies for fossil fuels, which distort markets and damages economies, particularly in poorer countries.”

Lord Stern said that even the IMF’s vast subsidy figure was a significant underestimate: “A more complete estimate of the costs due to climate change would show the implicit subsidies for fossil fuels are much bigger even than this report suggests.”

The IMF, one of the world’s most respected financial institutions, said that ending subsidies for fossil fuels would cut global carbon emissions by 20%. That would be a giant step towards taming global warming….

That seems like a far better idea than handing many of the same subsidized trans-national corporations more power via the Trans-Pacific Partnership and TAFTA.

The calculations in this IMF working paper don’t even include subsidies in the form of forced pipeline easements from private property owners. Yet fossil fuel subsidies account for 6% of world GDP.

End fossil fuel subsidies and the whole world will profit by fixing climate change, and not just in money.