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OECD plans to phases out coal subsidy ends in ‘stalemate’



Plans to phase out a form of coal subsidy among OECD nations has reportedly ended in ‘stalemate’, according to sources.

According to the Reuters, a source close to the talks said that discussions on phasing out a form of coal subsidies have ended in stalemate because Japan called for more time. Japan is the biggest user of the subsidy, which helps companies to sell coal plant and mining technology abroad.

The OECD has been trying to get its 34 member nations to agree on phasing out the subsidy for the past year. Cutting out the subsidy for coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, has received some strong support, particularly from France, but the opposition means a deal has yet to be reached.

The news comes as a study revealed Japan is one of the five G7 countries that have increased their coal use over the last five years. Despite agreeing to tackle climate change in 2009, Japan, along with the UK, France, Italy and Germany, has not cut its reliance on the polluting fossil fuel, the study estimated that coal plants in the G7 would cost the world $450 billion (£294bn) a year by the end of the century.

Leaders of the G7, which also includes the US and Canada, recognised the need to fully decarbonise their economies by 2100. Following discussions, the group released a statement saying “urgent and concrete” action is needed to address climate change, including “deep cuts” in global greenhouse gas emissions.

It is hoped that the progress made at the G7 talks will continue at UN negotiations in Paris later this year. The UN summit aims to create a universal climate treaty that will limit global warming, however, if OECD countries fail to reach an agreement it could be a blow for the discussions.

Photo: michelle carl via Flickr

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Further reading:

Subsidy loophole to be closed for dirty fossil fuels

Fossil fuel subsidies preventing transition to low-carbon economy

Shares in Drax fall 8% following subsidy appeal

Stronger EU renewable energy targets could rid need for subsidies

Centrica boss criticises UK’s ‘paradox’ power policy