28 Mar '13, 7pm

subsidies

subsidies

A new report [PDF] from the International Monetary Fund tries to tally up fossil fuel subsidies around the world and finds that they add up to an eye-popping $1.9 trillion a year . That’s 2.5 percent of global GDP! Brad Plumer has a typically lucid summary on the report’s conclusions, but I want to dig in a little on one part, because believe it or not, the IMF’s conclusion may be too conservative. The real truth about global fossil fuel subsidies may be more eye-popping yet. So, where does that $1.9 trillion come from? Around $480 billion of it comes from direct subsidies, i.e., government handing out money. This is what people usually think of when they hear “subsidies.” Contrary to popular opinion, the developed world does very little of this kind of thing. Direct fossil fuel subsidies (“pre-tax” subsidies) are overwhelmingly concentrated in the developing world and mos...

Full article: http://grist.org/climate-energy/imf-says-global-subsidies...

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