Fossil fuels subsidies are worth $5.3 trillion

$5.3 trillion (or 4.7 trillion euros) : those are staggering figures as they amount to $10 million every single minute. The figures come from the International Monetary Fund, so one can be pretty sure of them. 

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Fossil fuel subsidies are as high as ever

SubsidiesTo Desmogblog : ” The exact worth of massive global fossil fuel subsidies is incredibly hard to figure. There’s no real consistency in the definitions of subsidies, or how they should be calculated. “

” As a result, estimates of global subsidy support for fossil fuels vary widely. According to a new analysis by the Worldwatch Institute, these estimates range from $523 billion to over $1.9 trillion

I don’t know about you but I believe paying this much to keep on polluting our atmosphere and whole biosphere is just insane.

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The climate movement can succeed. In time ?

Green victory signUS advisor on sustainability and author Paul Gilding recently published on his blog a compelling, fantastic and stunning piece on how victory is at hand for the climate movement. You might believe this is some hyper optimistic hype.

However, Gilding keeps piling arguments in his article ; arguments that I have developed on this very blog and on Cleantechies for now six years and almost 1,500 articles. Indeed two momentum are being built as you read.

Climate change is becoming more and more serious, and the climate movement is winning bigger and bigger battles. Can it just win the war in time ?

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Global fossil fuels subsidies total $1.9 Trillion

time to end all fossil fuels subsidiesYes, you read that right. According to a new report from the International Monetary Fund, governments around the world are giving in direct and indirect aids up to 1,900 billion USD ( 1,500 billion euros ) to fossil fuels subsidies each year.

This total to 2.5 percent of global GDP. More importantly, ending those subsidies would lead to a drop of 13 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions. Now you understand why I have advocating doing so for the past few years.

The United States of America alone are handing nearly half a trillion dollars in subsidies. China and Russia are following with $279 billion and $116 billion, respectively. 

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A renewable energy boom in Japan

In the wake of the tragic catastrophe and the nuclear incident that shook Japan in 2011, we have seen that the local government is willing to push renewable energy sources forward. Among them, solar energy and wind power.

This has led to the installation of 1,12 GW of solar PV capacity in only nine months (source). During this period over five gigawatts of clean energy capacity have been approved. This proves that the feed-in tariffs are a success.

Let’s just hope it won’t be the kind of success that will lead the government to step back (as it happened most unfortunately in France).

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Another great Obama speech on climate

President Obama SOTU 2013Earlier this week, the newly reelected US President Barack Obama addressed the nation in the annual State of the Union address. It was the occasion for President Obama to keep his hard stance on climate on energy.

His previous speech during his second inaugural address had been a new hope for climate change. I stated at the time that I would grade Obama’s second term on five critical points. It seems my fourth point is on its way.

Will the acts succeed to the speeches ? I certainly hope so as Barack Obama presented ambitious climate plans on Tuesday.

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A climate change to do list

Climate change, aka global warmingYesterday I published an lengthy article on how business leaders and elected representatives of the so-called ” developped countries ” are awakening slowly to the threat of climate change.

While these are great news, we are still waiting for concrete actions that could actually have a chance to avoid catastrophes such as flooded cities, extreme weather events and so on.

So I had a look at what would consist of an urgent to do list for the future UNFCC conference of parties. Of course, this is a not exhaustive list.

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Obama’s second inaugural speech is a new hope

President Obama President Barack Obama delivered his second Inaugural Address this Monday in Washington DC. Climate change got quite a few mentions and it looks like the second term might be the time where the climate crisis is tackled as it should.

However, this was supposed to be the case in his first term. And many analysts – including me – have been deeply dissatisfied with Obama’s lack of work on preserving our environment and climate.

Indeed, even President Obama rejected Keystone XL pipeline it is still a threat to our climate and US ecosystems. Likewise, there are still no solar panels on the White House.

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IEA World Energy Outlook 2012

IEA World Energy Outlook 2012It’s an habit, the prestigious International Energy Agency releases each November its famous flagship publication, the World Energy Outlook. Let’s review here the main findings and reactions.

To the IEA , an important effort will have to be done as ” No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2 °C goal “

This means that we are indeed going to go for low carbon alternatives and that our binge of fossil fuels will have to stop VERY quickly.

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Could Saudi Arabia import oil by 2030 ?

Saudi Arabia flagsSaudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer with ten million barrels out of the 89 million consumed each day on Planet Earth. The consequences of this country having to import oil would be disastrous for our world economies.

This scenario could actually take place in less than two decades, according to Citigroup as Bloomberg and Grist report. Indeed, half of the electricity produced in the kingdom comes from oil and the demand is increasing rapidly.

This is explained by the massive subsidies given by the Saudi Aramco to local power companies that pay around $10 per barrel.

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Cleantech represents 2% of global energy

As Industry Intelligence Inc notes, cleantech is accelerating as the share of solar and wind energy and biofuels took 12 years to go from 0.5 to one percent of the global energy production but only six years to double that.

In 2011, these energy sources accounted for 2.1 percent. The total emissions avoided are about about 800 million tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided, or the equivalent of Germany’s total CO2 emissions in 2011.

So cleantech is booming, and this despite many factors that could prevent a much higher support. It is time to remove the barriers to the start of the cleantech revolution.

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US fossil fuels interests are getting desperate

Fossil fuels lobbies and anti climate change think tanks alike are getting more and more desperate as connect the dots and demand action on greenhouse gases and pollutions of all kinds.

As if this wasn’t enough, Senator Bernie Sanders (Independant from Vermont) and Congressman Keith Ellison (Democrat from Minnesota) introduced a bill to end polluter welfare.

If such a move was enacted, fossil fuels subsidies – due to be over a hundred billion dollars in America in the next ten years – would come to an end.

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