Wednesday 26th October 2016                 Change text size:

Are you subsidising oil and gas?

Are you subsidising oil and gas?

A recent study led by NASA scientist James Hansen has found that globally, the oil and gas industries are receiving a whopping $400-$500 billion a year in subsidies – between around £250-£300 billion.

The research, titled Scientific Case for Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change to Protect Young People and Nature, urges governments worldwide to stop using public funds for fossil fuel incentives.

The high costs to human health, food production, and natural ecosystems of air and water pollution caused by fossil fuel extraction and use are borne by the public“, the study says.

Similarly, costs of climate change and ocean acidification will be borne by the public, especially by young people and future generations.

Thus the essential underlying policy is for emissions of CO2 to come with a price that allows these costs to be internalised within the economics of energy use.

The price should rise over decades to enable people and businesses to efficiently adjust their lifestyles and investments to minimize costs.”

The $400-$500 billion in subsidies equates to around $45 for every person on Earth. The question is; do your investments leave an even greater footprint on the planet? Our Guide to Sustainable Investment examines the positive financial options.

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