Last Friday at the G20 countries agreed to phase out subsidies for oil and other carbon dioxide-spewing fossil fuels in the “medium term” as part of efforts to combat global warming. This article documents NEW taxpayer subsidies to some of the world’s richest corporations]
By Stephen Leahy
UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 29 2009 (IPS)
Despite the economic slow down, growing numbers of world leaders are calling for urgent action on climate change while many governments used their economic stimulus packages to increase subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.
Consider Europe, with the strongest public commitment to reduce carbon emissions that are causing climate change.
In the past five years, 8 billion U.S. dollars of public money went to Europe’s fossil fuel companies mainly to the natural gas sector. And in May the European Parliament approved an additional 3.35 billion dollars in subsides as part of Europe’s 225 billion dollars economic recovery plan, according to a new research report by Friends of the Earth Europe.
“We Europeans are supposedly leading the world on the path to a new green economy but we’re putting billions of euros into fossil fuel sector that’s taking us in the opposite direction,” Darek Urbaniak of Friends of the Earth Europe.
“Its complete hypocrisy,” Urbaniak told IPS from Brussels.
Perhaps recognising this fact, global business leaders at the World Business Summit on Climate Change that concluded May 26 called on governments to “strive to end the current perverse subsidies that favour high-emissions transport and energy”.