Fossil fuels subsidised by $10 million a minute

Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of US$5.3 trillion a year, equivalent to $10 million a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In per cent of GDP, global energy subsidies are estimated to increase from 5.8 per cent of global GDP in 2011 to 6.5 per cent in 2015.

The IMF describes the numbers as “shocking”. They exceed global public health spending, estimated by the WHO at US$4.3 trillion in 2013. “It is one of the largest negative externalities ever estimated”, says Vitor Gaspar at IMF.

Most subsidies (59%) are for coal.  In dollar terms,  the top five subsidisers are China, United States, India, Russia, and Japan. Subsidies in the European Union are similar to those in India.

Source: The Guardian, 18 May 2015
The IMF working paper ”How Large Are Global Energy Subsidies?”

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