Campaigners Demand an End to $1tn Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Twitterstorm calls for an end to fossil fuel subsidies as a new report says oil, coal and gas companies could be getting $1 trillion of government support.
How times have changed. When I wrote about fossil fuel subsidies in January, it felt like a crucial topic that had somehow never emerged into the public consciousness. But today the top trend on Twitter is #EndFossilFuelSubsidies, a million people have signed a petition to phase out state support for global-warming fossil fuels, and even celebrities such as Stephen Fry are making a noise about the issue.
The Twitterstorm was organised by campaigners including 350.org, and timed to put pressure on world leaders attending the Rio+20 conference to live up to their earlier commitments to stop using money government money to support fossil fuel production or consumption. Pressure will certainly be needed, as the current draft of the Rio text doesn’t mention oil, coal or gas subsidies.
This is despite the fact that – according to a new report published today – the amount of direct or indirect support given to fossil fuel industries may be more than a trillion dollars per year, a figure even higher than previously thought.
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