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Tackling Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Climate Change

Levelling the energy playing field

image of Tackling Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Climate Change

This report presents research on fossil fuel subsidy reform across 20 countries and reveals an average reduction in national GHG emissions of 11% by 2020 from potential reform, and savings of USD 93 per tonne of CO2. With modest recycling of resources to renewables and energy efficiency, reductions can be improved. Countries are including reforms in contributions towards a climate agreement. Authored by the Global Subsidies Initiative as part of the Nordic Prime Ministers' green growth initiative www.norden.org/greengrowth

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Executive Summary

Global fossil fuel subsidies to consumers stand at USD 550 billion annually: four times the level of subsidies going into renewables and four times the level of private investment into energy efficiency. This report includes new research on the impact that the reform of these subsidies could have on national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, by modelling this policy change in 20 countries between now and 2020. It finds an average of 11% of reductions from the removal of fossil fuel subsidies alone through pre-2020 actions. This could increase to as high as 18% if a small share of savings (30%) is reinvested into energy efficiency and renewables. The cumulative savings from across the 20 countries by 2020 amounts to 2.8Gt of CO2e. This updates earlier global research on this issue, with a range of global and national models having previously projected emissions reductions of between 6%–13% by 2050.

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