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$600 Billion – Shocking Global Support of Fossil Fuels

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While there is massive outrage amongst some politicians against the giveaways to support renewable energy, there is very little discussions on the massive subsidies given to the fossil fuel sector. Note globally more than half a trillion dollars is given away to support fossil fuels which is already a mature competitive sector. Green Energy which is a developing industry has got compete with not only the established 100 year infrastructure of fossil fuels but also against these massive $600 billion. However propagandist’s and ignorant sections of the media protest against the support given to the cleantech industry.Here is some bad and shallow journalism on German Solar subsidies

I continue to be surprised by bad and shallow analysis of renewable energy subsidies done by media. Most of it is due to bad research and lack of investigative and unbiased journalism. Writers with little or no background in energy or cleantech sensationalize an issue taking a report from some biased thinktank. Here is one example from a website called ironically which you can read here

What the writer is saying that Germany is spending massive amounts of subsidies to get little amount of power. What he has missed

With most of the world’s leaders and polticians in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry nothing but empty rhetoric come out in support of renewable energy these days. Global Warming has become a stale issue despite being one of the biggest threats facing mankind.

Climate Change Mitigation and Global Warming have been put in cold storage by world’s major countries like USA and China.While Europe and Japan are pushing initiatives to stop Global Warming,their efforts have been stymied by states like Saudi Arabia, USA and Canada.Some countries keep polluting like there is no tomorrow.USA is far from passing even a watered down climate and energy bill while Canada continues in its merry carbon emitting ways.China which has not committed to a   reduction target ans was one of the principal wreckers on a global agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in 2009.China has now surpassed the USA as both the largest energy consumer and GHG emitter.No country is willing to sacrifice even a penny for climate change.A lot of the Green Energy Investment by countries have been to promote their economy rather than concern over climate change.China’s solar industry accounts for more than 50% of the world’s solar production but China has yet to pass a solar subsidy Feed in Tariff Law.The USA is even worse with one of the highest per capita emission of Greenhouse Gases.Despite Obama campaigning on a Green platform,we have not seen any serious efforts by the administration on climate change.The UN official in charge of climate change pessimistically said that she does not envision a climate deal in her lifetime

IISD Detailed Reports on Subsidies

Reports from the IISD examine  in details the massive subsidies given by countries both poor and rich to the oil and gas sector. Reports have been issued for Canada , Indonesia and Norway till data. I would urge people to read this research to get a handle on the deep and complex issue of support to the energy industry.

Globally, subsidies to fossil fuels may be on the order of US$ 600 billion per year, of which the GSI estimates about US$ 100 billion is provided to producers. Nobody knows the real number, however, because there is no international framework for regularly monitoring fossil-fuel subsidies.

The GSI’s third report in the series Fossil Fuels – At What Cost? identifies and estimates support for oil and gas production in Norway. This detailed analysis identifies nine subsidies, six of which totalled around NOK 25.5 billion (US$ 4 billion) in 2009. These subsidies include a tax reimbursement for exploration expenses, accelerated deductions on investments, research and development grants, the provision of seismic investigations by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the provision of infrastructure and facilities by Gassco, and special treatment of the Snøhvit field in Northern Norway.

The GSI’s second report in the series Fossil Fuels – At What Cost? identifies and determines the value and impact of oil production subsidies in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador. This detailed analysis is the first of its kind in Canada and allows appropriate comparisons of subsidies with other countries. It finds 63 subsidies at the federal and provincial level, amounting to C$ 2.84 billion in 2008.

The GSI’s first report in the series Fossil Fuels – At What Cost? studies the subsidies provided to fossil-fuel producers in Indonesia. It identifies three subsidies totaling US$ 1.8 billion in 2008. This is a lower-bound figure for Indonesia, as at least seven other potential subsidies were identified but could not be assessed or quantified based on available information.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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