Did you know that renewables only get a piffling $50 billion a year in subsidies while those bastards over in hte fossil fuel industry get ten times as much?
The report concludes that in 2009 governments provided subsidies worth between $43bn (£27bn) and $46bn to renewable energy and biofuel industries, including support provided through feed-in tariffs, renewable energy credits, tax credits, cash grants and other direct subsidies.
In contrast, estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA) released in June showed that $557bn was spent by governments during 2008 to subsidise the fossil fuel industry.
Now no, that\’s not the lie. That\’s the true part.
And yes, of course those subsidies to fossil fuels should be done away with. And yes it would have a wonderful effect on CO2 emissions. But that\’s not the reason to do it of course. And it\’s also not where the lie is.
The lie is here:
However, the report will further increase pressure on G20 countries to make good on their recent pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies – a move that the IEA believes could single-handedly slash global carbon emissions by up to seven per cent.
No, the IEA says no such damn fool thing.
Because what the lying bastards have done is equated two very different indeed sets of subsidies.
The renewables subsidies are largely the US, Germany and a bit from China (the UK\’s aren\’t really up and running in volume as yet but they will be soon).
When looking at the way they\’ve reported the figures we are expected to conclude that it\’s these same governments which are providing the fossil fuel subsidies that the IEA is complaining about, yes? But not, that\’s not what is happening at all:
Iran was identified as having the highest subsidies at about $101bn, or approximately a third of the country\’s annual budget. \”Chronic under-pricing of domestic energy in Iran has resulted in enormous subsidies and a major burden on the economy that is forcing reliance on imports of refined products,\” the study concluded. \”Steep economic, political and social hurdles will need to be overcome if Iran is to realise lasting reform.\”
I can\’t find the full IEA report but I have found the slides used to illustrate it. Here.
Last page. Who are the subsidisers? In order, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Egypt, Venezuela, Mexico, Indonesia, Argentina, Iraq, Uzbekistan, UAE and so on….
Absolutely none of the advanced industrialised countries are providing sufficient subsidy to even make the list. Only 8 of the G-20 do ….and none of the rich ones.
So, you see what they\’ve done? They\’ve compared what poor countries do to subsidise fossil fuels with what rich countries do to subsidise renewables….and yet left us with the impression that it\’s all rich countries doing both.
Think for a moment: they\’re comparing $50 billion with $550 billion, as if it is therefore obvious that we (the US, UK etc) should therefore both reduce fossil sibsidies and increase renewables. But what on earth does Iran subsidising petrol have to do with how much the UK or Germany should subsidise solar PV?
Now I\’m all in favour of those fossil subsidies being entirely done away with but not for climate change reasons. Rather, WTF is a poor place like Iran doing giving $100 billion to car drivers?
Or, if you prefer, sure, get rid of those subsidies but don\’t think that they\’ve got anything at all to do with us here in the rich world at all.