09 Jun '16, 2pm

The G7 pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies isn't as clear as it seems (via @NEF)

The gist of the Treasury’s telling off was that I should stop calling something a fossil fuel subsidy that wasn’t. I shall spare you the gory details. The Government’s side is that cutting tax for fossil fuel production isn’t a subsidy because the tax rate is still higher than all other industries pay. But I was arguing the bigger picture: call it what you like, but what’s happened is the Chancellor’s actions are stimulating the production of oil and gas; the economics of drilling for those firms just got a lot better overnight. Most definitions of subsidy used by world economic bodies – the WTO, OECD or even the International Energy Agency – say that tax cuts for oil companies are subsidies for this reason. I recommend this Desmog blog which gets splendidly erudite about all this and delves into wonkishness from which I shall otherwise shield you.

Full article: http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/the-looking-glass-...

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