"The Arctic will retain its power to amaze for a long time. Yet it is now changing beyond the usual regional and annual variations in sea-ice formation, glacier melt and so forth. The Arctic is clearly melting. Its floating ice cap is shrinking and thinning and its glaciers are retreating. By the end of this century, maybe much sooner, there will be frequent Arctic summers with almost no sea...
Reforming Energy Subsidies
"Greenhouse gas emissions, primarily caused by fossil fuels, are the main drivers of climate change. Through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the international community agreed that global greenhouse gas emissions need to be halved relative to 1990 by 2050 to avoid irreversible and possibly catastrophic changes for millions of people. These impacts include endangered water and food security, widespread melting of glaciers and dramatic rises of sea-levels threatening entire populations.
Nevertheless, many governments continue to subsidise the use of fossil fuels. In recent years, some have even intensified their financial support for social reasons to compensate for the steep increase in international oil prices. However, such subsidies often do not reach those that they are intended for. They are also very costly in economic terms, creating a large drain on government budgets and distorting national and international markets. On the other hand, energy subsidies can be beneficial, where they are aimed at promoting cleaner and more efficient technologies and at improving poor households’ access to modern forms of energy.
Some countries have already taken steps in assessing their subsidies programmes in terms of their environmental, social and economic impacts and in reforming their harmful policies. However, much greater national and international efforts are indispensable to reduce those subsidies that enhance fossil-fuel use and thus act as a hurdle to combating climate change and achieving more sustainable development paths.
With this booklet, UNEP aims to raise awareness of the various types of energy subsidies, their size and impact and the direct relationship with climate change and sustainable development. I hope that the key policy lessons and recommendations in this booklet will help policy makers to design reform of energy subsidies in an environmentally, socially and economically sound manner. With this guidance document, I am calling on you to help us tackle the problem of climate change by using your resources wisely and stop investments in energy practices that have proved to be detrimental to the environment, development and society as a whole."
More About This Topic...
Click thumbnails below to view links