IMF: Cut Subsidies to Cut Emissions

A new IMF report recommends cutting energy subsidies globally to reduce overall fossil fuel emissions, reports Brad Plumer.
March 31, 2013, 1pm PDT | boramici
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The IMF has issued a new report that breaks down the cost of direct and indirect energy subsidies by country and analyzes the impact that revoking these subsidies could have on the climate.

Overall, countries around the world directly subsidize $480 billion in energy consumption annually, with developing countries in North Africa and the Middle East providing the highest subsidies for gas and electricity and spending more on energy than public projects. 

Accounting for the failure of countries around the world to tax carbon, the real figure is closer to $1.4 trillion.

The U.S., Russia and China provide the largest subsidies for fossil fuels annually, and out of these, China is the only one with a modest carbon tax in the works.

Revoking these direct and indirect subsidies could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent globally, according to the IMF.

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Published on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 in The Washington Post
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