Tuesday, October 06, 2009

World Bank subsidies to fossil fuels

This from the 300-350 Show: Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies

A pre-requisite for making the transition to a clean energy future is to switch subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy projects. If that’s the case, why are we still bank-rolling dirty energy projects in developing countries?

World Bank lending for fossil fuels rose by 94% between 2007 & 2008 to over $3 billion which far outweighs the $476 million they gave to “new renewables” energy projects.
World Bank lending for coal in particular rose 256% from 2007 to 2008.

This contradicts the Bank’s own rhetoric in their “World Development Report” published in September which advises against “locking the world into high-carbon infrastructure”. Steve Kretzmann of Oil Change International has been campaigning for the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies for many years. He says that if the G20 leaders were serious about their Pittsburgh commitment to phasing out subsidies for fossil fuels, they could end World Bank and Export Credit Agency support at the stroke of a pen. However, rather than putting their own house in order first, there is a danger that the G20 could choose to focus on the subsidies which developing countries use to make energy services affordable for the poor. If that’s the case, we still have a job to do in holding the G20 to account.

Hear this show now at: www.climateradio.org

RL comment: This information provokes outrage and frustration, but is also encouraging. As the man says, all the world Bank has to do is to cancel the fossil subs and vire them to renewables. Result: fossil fuel prices go up, and the smart money pours into renewables.

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