World governments spend $500B on fossil fuel subsidies, $66B on renewables

• January 25, 2012
Oil refinery in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada

Creative Commons: Glenn Euloth, 2010

The world’s governments are shelling out a combined $1.4 billion per day to further destabilize the earth’s climate.

Worldwide, direct fossil fuel subsidies added up to roughly $500 billion in 2010, in contrast to just $66 billion for renewable
energy.

Not only do fossil fuel subsidies dwarf those for renewables today, but a long legacy of governments propping up oil, coal, and natural gas has resulted in a very uneven energy playing field.

Out of the $500 billion in fossil fuel subsidies, $100 billion supports production and $400 billion supports consumption (ie., keeping gas prices low).  The oil industry receives $193 billion of that, while natural gas gets $91 billion and coal gets $3 billion.  $122 billion is spent subsidizing the use of fossil fuel-generated electricity.

We distort reality when we omit the health and environmental costs associated with burning fossil fuels from their prices. When governments actually subsidize their use, they take the distortion even further.

Read more: Sustainable Business >>


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TckTckTck is the online hub for the Global Call for Climate Action. The GCCA represents an unprecedented alliance of more than 400 nonprofit organizations from around the world. Our shared mission is to mobilize civil society and galvanize public support to ensure a safe climate future for people and nature, to promote the low-carbon transition of our economies, and to accelerate the adaptation efforts in communities already affected by climate change.

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