Letter from the Green Economy Coalition to G-20 Ministers of Finance

By Mark Halle, Ola Engelmark, Andreas R. Kraemer, James P. Leape, Joost Martens, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Alastair McIntosh, Camilla Toulmin, Jan-Olaf Willums on November 24, 2009
IISD-Europe Executive Director Mark Halle has signed a letter from the Green Economy Coalition to the G-20 Finance Ministers to end perverse fossil fuel subsidies. IISD is a founding member of the coalition, which focuses on the policy changes needed to transform the global economy into one that is clean, green and equitable.

Fossil-fuel subsidies contribute directly to climate change, cost hundreds of billions of dollars each year and create artificial barriers to sustainable development. "These subsidies are a massive diversion of public funds that could be better spent in other ways," says Halle. "Subsidies create false impressions about the relative cost of lower-carbon energy alternatives and this is bringing us closer to irreversible climate change."

In September, G-20 leaders meeting in Pittsburgh agreed to phase out these subsidies over the medium term. The Green Economy Coalition welcomes that move but calls for greater urgency in implementing the phase-out and outlines ways to ensure that a reform of subsidies will protect the welfare of the poorest.

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IISD, 2009