Bold EU renewable targets while fossil fuel subsidies approach $2 trillion

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The European Union has proposed a new package of carbon and renewable energy targets for 2030 that could see the introduction of a 40 per cent carbon reduction target, as well as a 30 per cent share target for renewable energy.

More at Renewecononomy’s Mixed Greens by Sophie Vorrath of 28 March 2013.

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Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has called for an end to energy subsidies, in its latest report showing global governments spend nearly $2 trillion a year to subsidise oil, natural gas, coal and electricity production. The report, released on Wednesday, shows the US as the world’s top overall fossil fuel subsidiser, with $502 billion directed to support energy industries in 2011. China comes in second, at $279 billion, Russia third at $116 billion.

According to the IMF report, fossil fuel subsidisation takes various forms, including direct support to the industries, consumer rebates and avoided taxes on pollution. And it recommends three key steps to eliminating the practice: develop a comprehensive, long-term phase-out plan; advance measures to protect the poor from higher energy prices; and consult with the public and affected stakeholders.

The report does not account for subsidies to renewable energy because, according to the IMF’s first deputy managing director David Lipton, they are generally too small to precisely measure.

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