Fossil fuel subsidies in focus at Doha climate talks

• December 5, 2012
Building the Qatargas plant

Creative Commons: Shell, 2009

Hassan al-Kubaisi considers it a gift from above that drivers in oil- and gas-rich Qatar only have to pay $1 per gallon at the pump.

“Thank God that our country is an oil producer and the price of gasoline is one of the lowest,” al-Kubaisi said, filling up his Toyota Land Cruiser at a gas station in Doha. “God has given us a blessing.”

To those looking for a global response to climate change, it’s more like a curse.

Qatar – the host of U.N. climate talks that entered their final week Monday – is among dozens of countries that keep gas prices artificially low through subsidies that exceeded $500 billion globally last year. Renewable energy worldwide received six times less support – an imbalance that is just starting to earn attention in the divisive negotiations on curbing the carbon emissions blamed for heating the planet.

“We need to stop funding the problem, and start funding the solution,” said Steve Kretzmann, of Oil Change International, an advocacy group for clean energy.

His group presented research Monday showing that in addition to the fuel subsidies in developing countries, rich nations in 2011 gave more than $58 billion in tax breaks and other production subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. The U.S. figure was $13 billion.

Read more: Huffington Post >>


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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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