Fossil Fuel Subsidies Dwarf Global Clean Energy Assistance: New Analysis
- June 29, 2010
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World leaders have just come back from the G20 where they took some mixed steps to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies (as I discussed here). They also reaffirmed that climate change and clean energy are important issues. But a new analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows that they have their work cut out for them as fossil-fuel subsidies dwarf those for clean energy—by a sizeable margin.
The G20’s statement affirms continued commitment to the phase-out of fossil-fuel subsidies when it stated that:
“We also encourage continued and full implementation of country-specific strategies [to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies] and will continue to review progress towards this commitment at upcoming summits.”
And on clean energy they agreed to (not much): “We reiterate our commitment to a green recovery and to sustainable global growth.”. The G8 had a bit more to say on clean energy:
“…we are committed to building low carbon and climate resilient economies, characterized by green growth and improved resource efficiency. We recognize the opportunities provided by a transition to low carbon and renewable energies, in particular for job creation.”
But countries have their work cut out on shifting from fossil-fuel subsidies to supporting clean energy. Bloomberg New Energy Finance has developed this very helpful figure which shows that global subsidies for fossil fuels dwarf those provided for clean energy.*
Even when looking at clean energy subsidies in 2009 (a high-point as I’ve discussed here), clean energy subsidies barely even show up on the graph.
Time to shift the balance from fossil fuel to clean energy assistance. Can 2010/2011 be the moment where the share shifts from fossil fuel to clean energy subsidies? I sure hope so because with graphs like that it is a challenge to think that clean energy can drive the future energy deployment – how could it compete with such a lopsided trend.
So let’s get serious about turning clean energy from a dwarf to a giant.