Socialist Worker

Fossil fuel firms grab huge subsidies to continue destroying the planet

by Sophie Squire
Issue No. 2775

The Keadby 2 gas-fired power station is being built in North Lincolnshire

The Keadby 2 gas-fired power station is being built in North Lincolnshire (Pic: SSA Thermal)


The fossil fuel industry receives over £8 million in subsidies every minute.

The report comes from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—an enemy of workers and the poor across the world. But it was forced to admit that not one country was pricing their oil and gas supplies to reflect the cost of both its production and its environmental toll.

Countries offered fossil fuel companies explicit subsidies to lower oil and gas prices as well as tax breaks.

Researchers from the IMF said the ending of fossil fuel subsidies would also prevent nearly a million deaths a year from dirty air and raise trillions of dollars for governments.

As the cost of gas and electricity continues to soar, governments in much of Europe are responding by handing more subsidies to oil and gas companies to lower prices.

Handing money to fossil fuel companies contributes to the continued extraction and burning of coal, oil and gas, leading to rising CO2 emissions and warming of the planet.

For years powerful nations have made empty promises to cut back on fossil fuel subsidies.

In 2016 the countries in the G7 pledged to end subsidies by 2025. However, almost no progress has been made since then to make good on this pledge.

Leaders

At Cop26 in November, world leaders will gather to discuss fossil fuel subsidies.

But once again they are unlikely to keep any promises made to stop funding the fossil fuel industry because their system relies on it.

Energy prices are soaring and there is a global battle to secure fuel supplies after demand rebounded rapidly from the depths of the pandemic. Natural gas has hit a tall-time record price.

The price of coal, used to generate electricity and for heating, has surpassed its all-time peak set in 2008.

This will encourage fossil fuel companies to pour even more investment into technologies that are deepening the climate crisis.

Why Cop will fail the planet
Why Cop will fail the planet
  Read More

Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world’s biggest producer of natural gas, has revealed that it expects revenues to go up due to soaring gas and bills.

This has contributed to a strong month for Shell’s share prices which reached an 18 month high last week.

All new investment in fossil fuels needs to stop now as a first step towards halting climate chaos. That will never happen while governments shower them with subsidies.

The IMF’s solution is to let prices rise to reflect the real costs. But that will be too slow and still leave key decisions determined by profit-hungry multinationals.

Taking energy into democratic public ownership is a key part of making energy affordable for ordinary people and tacking climate chaos.

Foer details of demonstrations around Cop26 on 6 November go here

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.