The darkside of energy subsidies -- a planet held hostage by its appetite for fossil fuels
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/1/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
New reports show that fossil fuels are the most subsidized industries around the world. A report by the BBC blasts this reality, explaining that the industries are hardly "in need of a helping hand."
Energy subsidies send trillions per year up in smoke.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that over half-a-trillion dollars were spent on fossil fuel subsidies in 2012. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which looks at government subsidies for producers (instead of consumers) says that they received nearly $2 trillion in subsidies.
Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry remains one of the most profitable industries on the planet generating legendary amounts of wealth.
The BBC reports that fossil fuels are about 80 percent of our consumption, but that they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and other harms.
The subsidies, according to the BBC, come in various forms. For example, some subsidies keep the costs of fuel down which encourages consumption. Other subsidies are paid to producers, making it profitable for them to pursue supplies of fossil fuels that would otherwise be unprofitable.
The problem with subsidies is threefold. First, the wealthy benefit the most from subsidies while the poor, who usually lack access to electricity and automobiles, benefit the least. Second, subsidies burn enormous amounts of government wealth on artificially manipulating prices and competition. Although the short-term gains are great, the long-term consequences could prove more severe. Finally, by encouraging consumption of fossil fuels the entire scheme contributes to carbon emissions and global warming.
The problem for governments is that subsidies are very popular with the people, despite their enormous costs. In half of all nations, the energy sector is controlled by the government. All fuel prices are manipulated by governments in a variety of ways including taxes on fuel. Large segments of the population are employed in the energy industries and most people are very sensitive to price shocks.
Any disruption to the status quo is typically met with public protests and can be politically expensive for elected officials. This makes it especially difficult for governments to impose new taxes on energy or to reduce subsidies.
Finally, many nations which manage their own energy production lack the ability to update their infrastructure, which means diminishing returns over time.
The subsidies paid to energy companies usually means there is less money for healthcare, education, and other infrastructure projects.
The BBC admits that while fossil fuel subsidies may go away, they will "be with us for a very long time" and getting rid of them will require massive global political effort.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed. That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.
Pope Francis has issued a stinging rebuke against those who deny that human-caused global warming is real. He called the notion a "perverse ... continue reading
More than 1,500 scientists have issued a warning to humanity, stating that our activities, and life as we know it are on a collision ... continue reading
Scientists discover the Egyptians also recorded the day the sun stood still, and now we know when it happened Watch
Scientists have discovered the exact date when the sun stood still in the book of Joshua. The discovery was made using an Egyptian source ... continue reading
Two volcanoes are about to erupt almost simultaneously, spewing massive quantities of ash and soot into the air. Scientists have warned ... continue reading
A 7.1 quake has rocked Mexico City. Buildings swayed and people dove for cover, but there are now some reports of damage.At least 42 people ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- The Remarkable Story of an Underground Priest Living in China
- Daily Reading for Monday, November 20th, 2017 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Monday, November 20, 2017
- St. Edmund Rich: Saint of the Day for Monday, November 20, 2017
- 'DEFEND the Pope!'
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 HD Video
- Do you know what the Church really says about Nuclear War?
- Catholics are sharing Christ's compassion. HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, November 19th, 2017 HD
- Did Pope Francis blast 'perverse attitude' of climate change deniers? HD
- Scientists warn: The end of life as we know it is near HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way