World Bank must do more on fossil fuels

The Guardian, 15 April 2015:

The figure for fossil fuel subsidies of $1tn given by the World bank includes approximately $500bn in direct subsidies from selling petrol at below cost, and another $500bn in tax breaks, which include VAT exemption for airline fuel and, in the UK, tax incentives for fracking companies (End subsidy on fossil fuels now April 14). It does not include the health and environmental costs to society of carbon emissions. In 2013, the IMF used a figure of $25 per tonne of CO2, which adds $800bn to the estimate, but this is almost certainly an underestimate, as most commentators put the price at $50 or higher. In either event the world community is shelling out $2tn annually to promote an activity likely to end human civilisation as we know it. By contrast, renewable energy receives just $80bn in global subsidies, or $1 for every $25 spent on fossil fuels.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire