Greta Thunberg’s accusation that world leaders are guilty of ‘blah, blah, blah’ in the face of the escalating climate crisis is ‘spot on’, according to a trio of new reports released today, which warn the opportunity provided by the coronavirus crisis to introduce sweeping fossil fuel subsidy reform and ambitious green stimulus packages is being squandered.
Category: Fiscal Reform
Moving the economy to net zero – emitting less carbon dioxide than it consumes – will be messy and expensive unless the government has a radical rethink about how to simplify its approach to taxing greenhouse gas production.
The fossil fuel industry benefits from subsidies of $11m every minute, according to analysis by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF found the production and burning of coal, oil and gas was subsidised by $5.9tn in 2020, with not a single country pricing all its fuels sufficiently to reflect their full supply and environmental costs.
A reluctance to raise the cost of natural gas is understandable, given that poorer households spend more of their income on heating their homes. But it only further underscores the importance of joined-up, coherent thinking about how Britain can hit its net zero emissions target by 2050.
Almost 90% of the $540bn in global subsidies given to farmers every year are “harmful”, a startling UN report has found. This agricultural support damages people’s health, fuels the climate crisis, destroys nature and drives inequality by excluding smallholder farmers, many of whom are women, according to the UN agencies.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa may strongly oppose the proposed Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) by the European Union at the 13th BRICS Summit on Thursday as the five developing countries will likely be the biggest losers from its implementation. In a veiled reference to CBAM, BRICS trade ministers last week cautioned that any measure to tackle climate change must be in conformity with multilateral trading rules and shouldn’t put arbitrary restrictions on international trade.
The European Parliament’s agriculture committee approved a deal to overhaul the European Union’s huge farming subsidies, including new measures aimed at making agriculture greener.
Almost half a trillion dollars of support a year harms people’s health, the climate and drives inequality.
Policy design and timing are critical to overcoming political costs to climate mitigation policies, as is the need to provide effective social insurance policies.