Fossil fuel subsidies eclipse climate cash

Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:01 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- As world leaders discuss climate issues in Doha, a low-carbon group said industrialized nations are putting more money behind fossil fuels than alternatives.

Nearly 200 countries are represented at a U.N.-led climate conference in Doha, Qatar. Delegates are discussing international climate treaties amid reports that warn that status quo in terms of emissions targets may come with dire environmental consequences.

Pro-green group Oil Change International, which has headquarters in Washington, said fossil fuel subsidies in major industrialized countries are, on average, five times greater than what's committed to help developing countries address climate change.

The top industrialized nations allocated a collective $58.7 billion to subsidize fossil fuels last year compared with $11.2 billion for climate financing for developing countries, the group said.

The organization based its findings on information reported by leading global economies to the International Energy Agency and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven told delegates in Doha that collective action was needed to keep potentially "dire consequences" of a warmer climate at bay.

"Governments must develop sound domestic policies to encourage low-carbon investment, especially in emerging economies where most energy growth will take place," she said.

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