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Fossil Fuel Subsidies & Health

On a global scale, the removal of consumer fossil fuel subsidies combined with effective taxation would have positive health impacts. Impacts and timing of subsidies allocated to coal are also important in terms of encouraging overuse with knock-on health effects. Broader externalities from fossil fuels have wide ramifications for human health.

Health Organizations, Help Indonesia Kick the Coal Habit

Indonesians’ lungs have been exposed to significant pollution in the past few years, from forest fire haze to increasing amounts of motor vehicle exhaust. A study looking at the greater Jakarta area attributed 3,700 premature deaths per year to air pollution from 2012 to 2015. The national and regional governments of Indonesia are trying to tackle some of these issues through, for example, banning land clearance by burning and improving public transit. But there’s one area, power generation, where current government policies are on course to make Indonesia’s air pollution worse.

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Blog: How Indonesia Might Turn Its Back on a Future of Cheaper Renewable Electricity

Short-term gain can lead to long-term pain. This might be the case with Indonesia’s recent decision to bet on coal as its preferred source to supply reliable and affordable electricity. Indonesia’s decision comes at a time when the rest of the world is moving in the opposite direction: countries are increasingly switching from coal to renewables and encouraging competition between power generators to obtain the best prices.

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The True Cost of Coal and Renewables in Indonesia

Indonesia is facing an energy crunch as demand for electricity rises across the country. The country is one of the world’s largest coal producers, and is developing plans for an additional 35 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power stations. Proponents of the development claim that coal is the cheapest source of energy available.

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Blog: Change Makers Leap Forward as Momentum for Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform Grows

There is a pressing “need for faster reform, urgency and political commitment.”[1] These were the opening highlights of the fifth high-level event on fossil fuel subsidy reform, organized by the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (“Friends”), Global Subsidies Initiative and the World Bank on April 21, in the context of the 2017 International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings held in Washington, D.C.

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