I knew that this was true but I didn’t realise the effect was so great. The simple way to cut climate change is to stop subsidising fossil fuels.
According to IEA research, 37 governments spent $409bn on artificially lowering the price of fossil fuels in 2010. Critics say the subsidies significantly boost oil and gas consumption and disadvantage renewable energy technologies, which received only $66bn of subsidies in the same year. Birol and the IEA said that a phase-out would avoid 750m tonnes of CO2 a year by 2015, potentially rising to 2.6 gigatonnes by 2035, a level sufficient to provide half the emissions reductions needed to limit global warming to 2C, considered the limit of safety by many scientists. “Fossil fuel subsidies are a hand brake as we drive along the road to a sustainable energy future,” he said. “Removing them would take us half way to a trajectory that would hold us to 2C.”