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End fossil fuel subsidies and increase green investment portfolios, says French minister



Foreign minister of France Laurent Fabius has called on governments to cut subsidies to fossil fuels in order to avoid “climate chaos” and proposed to increase the share of traditional portfolios dedicated to green economy from 1% to 10% by 2020.

Speaking at an economic meeting in Aix-en-Provence, Fabius said, “Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, fossil fuels have been the main engine of growth.

“But fast enough, it will destroy more wealth than it creates.”

He argued that subsiding carbon-intensive sources of energy was stopping countries from working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, therefore making it harder to keep global warming under 2C.

Beyond these 2 degrees, we will undergo climate chaos and no one, no individual, no company, no nation, no town will be spared”, he said, adding that countries should put in place a “clear and stable framework” to remove subsidies.

The French minister also said that investment in the green economy should be much higher than what it is now and called for 10% of traditional portfolios to be dedicated to sustainable projects, up from the current 1% by 2020.

I want to take advantage of the fact that many leaders are gathered here to launch an appeal (…) to private and institutional investors: I think sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, financial companies have to invest where their real long-term return is”.

France is hosting the 21st UN climate conference in 2015, where the international community is expected to reach a global agreement on climate change. The UN also criticised fossil fuels subsidies in the past as an obstacle for the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Photo: Graeme Maclean via Flickr

Further reading:

IEA: shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy ‘long overdue’

Fossil fuel subsidies preventing transition to low-carbon economy

UN climate chief: clean energy needs investment worth $1tn a year

Much-needed $800bn renewable energy investment can come from fossil fuel subsidies

Insurers to protect renewable energy investors as states roll back support