Globally, subsidies should be evened out and made completely transparent
Steve Sawyer interviewed by Eric Frykburg
At a Wind Energy Conference in Wellington, New Zealand, Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of GWEC, says governments tell people not to emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), but the subsidies they pay to fossil fuels such as oil more than cancel this out. These subsidies vary from complex tax incentives in the United States to governments in the Middle East subsidising the price of petrol. “Fossils fuel subsidies amounted to an emissions incentive of about $110 a tonne of CO2, which explains a bit why our carbon price of five, 10, 15 or even $25 a tonne of CO2 doesn’t really do much in the face when governments are spending $110 to tell you to emit it instead.”
Fossil fuel and nuclear industries get far bigger subsidies than renewables, for which subsidy levels are low or non existent in some countries such as New Zealand. But Sawyer says that globally, subsidies should be evened out and made completely transparent.