New Study Finds Cutting Oil Subsidies Will Not Stop Climate Change
8 February 2018 – Ending financial assistance for fossil fuel companies has long been discussed as a tactic to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage investment in renewables. Oil, natural gas and coal companies worldwide receive hundreds of billions of dollars each year in tax breaks or other subsidies—and some experts argue that cutting them off would drive prices up and consumption down. It’s a simple idea, but one that’s been sparsely investigated by scientists. Now, new research suggests that removing fossil fuel subsidies might not have the global effect that some climate advocates were hoping for. The study, published in the journal Nature, used an ensemble of five models to investigate the impact of ending fossil fuel subsidies worldwide by the year 2030, assuming both high and low oil prices in the future. Doing so would have a modest impact on global greenhouse gas emissions, the research finds, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by a half-billion to 2 billion metric tons annually. Read the full article on the Scientific American website.