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 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for JANUARY 2018
Religious Minorities in Asia. That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practise their faith in full freedom.
The year 2018 has been predicted to be a year of major quakes by scientists, and the first major quake has struck on cue. A massive 7.6 ... continue reading
"If you can't breathe, nothing else matters," said Denise Breitbung in a study on ocean oxygen levels. Research recently published in the ... continue reading
A rare combination of events will bring about a 'Super Blue Blood Moon' on January 31, 2018. Here's what it is and what you can expect ... continue reading
'Bomb Cyclone' hammers east coast as Alaska enjoys mild temperatures - what's happening to our weather? Watch
California is warm and dry, Alaska is 20 degrees above normal while arctic air is blanketing the Eastern US and combining with a winter ... continue reading
You can ignore melting Arctic ice, and you can ignore starving polar bears, but you may find it harder to ignore the hole in your ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Eminem speaks about his experience with abortion
- Daily Reading for Thursday, January 18th, 2018 HD Video
- Now more than 215 million persecuted Christians worldwide
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, January 17, 2018
- St. Anthony the Abbot: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, January 17, 2018
- Annual National Prayer Service Unites Christians
- CDC: Swine flu joining killer influenza outbreak, expected to become ...
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 HD
- Twitter Ban: Censorship on "a way of talking" -- does that include Christian speech? HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, January 15th, 2018 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