Quick, which gets subsidized more heavily around the world, fossil fuels or renewable energy? Bloomberg crunches the numbers and finds that it's not even close—oil, gas, and coal get a whopping twelve times as much total government support:[Via Marginal Revolution e Andrew Sullivan]
Governments last year gave $43 billion to $46 billion of support to renewable energy through tax credits, guaranteed electricity prices known as feed-in tariffs and alternative energy credits, the London-based research group said today in a statement. That compares with the $557 billion that the International Energy Agency last month said was spent to subsidize fossil fuels in 2008.Granted, these raw totals obscure a few things (if you looked at dollars per unit of energy delivered, oil and coal subsidies would be smaller than wind and solar). But the overall disparity is stunning, given everything we know about the harm fossil fuels are doing. And those subsidies add up, pollution-wise. A report from Harvard's Kennedy Center last year found that the world could cut global CO2 emissions nearly 6 percent simply by scrapping price supports for fossil energy. And yes, removing subsidies might, in the short term, have a regressive impact in the form of higher energy prices, but countries could easily take the money saved and use it to cushion the blow, via efficiency upgrades or even lump-sum payments.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 23:32