Revealing the scale of subsidies to fossil fuels

By Nicole Andréa Mathys on April 21, 2010

Most governments around the world, rich and poor alike, encourage fossil fuel production or consumption with financial support. Globally, subsidies to fossil fuels may be on the order of US$ 500 billion per year, of which about US$ 100 billion is provided to producers. Nobody knows the real number, however, because there is no international framework for regularly monitoring fossil-fuel subsidies.

In 2007, a feasibility study for the estimation of fossil-fuel subsidies was conducted by the EPFL (ETH Lausanne) with inputs from the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) and Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI).

Following this study, the Global Subsidies Initiative launched a full research program into fossil-fuel subsidies, the results of which can be found here.

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IISD, 2010