Fossil fuel subsidies

Mary Robinson, the UN envoy for climate change has in July 2016 criticised the UK and Germany for continuing huge subsidies for fossil fuels production in spite of promises made at the yet unratified Paris Climate Summit deal This article from the Guardian reports the details of the criticism and the extent of the subsidies. Here is an extract:.

“the world’s top 10 biggest greenhouse gas emitters had not yet ratified the Paris deal. The US and China have both pledged to ratify the deal this year, which only comes into force once at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified.”

George Monbiot in this article, provides a detailed overview of why the contradiction between governments’ commitment to the Paris Climate Summit deal and their support for future fossil fuel extraction. He provides links to comprehensive evidence that, unless new fossil fuel extraction is abandoned immediately, there is no hope that the Paris targets can be achieved. He outlines three options:

1. a gradual, managed decline of existing production and its replacement with renewable energy and low-carbon infrastructure, which offer great potential for employment.

2. allowing fossil fuel production to continue at current rates for a while longer, followed by a sudden and severe termination of the sector, with dire consequences for both jobs and economies.

3. continuing to produce fossil fuels as we do today, followed by climate breakdown.

Why is this a hard choice to make?

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