Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fossil-fuels subsidized at USD 1 Trillion per year


Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies is not a new concept. Back in 2009, the G20 committed to phasing out fossil fuels in the ‘medium term’. Earlier this year, close to a million people signed a petitions from Avaaz.org and 350.org urging world leaders at the G20 Mexico meeting and the Rio+20 Earth Summit to follow up earlier promises with concrete action. The 2,700 members of the UN global compact released a statement supporting the idea, saying:
It is time to make the Rio+20 conference the beginning of the end of all subsidies to fossil fuels and reorient subsidies towards clean and renewable energy, including activities such as loan guarantee programmes for ensuring access to sufficient capital for renewable energy companies, measures to stabilize the long-term price of power from renewable projects, and policies to encourage the adoption of transformative low-carbon solutions.”
In total, 135 countries have voiced their support for fossil fuel subsidy reform. But, as you can see in this study from Oil Change International, little progress has been made so far. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Carbon: The Biggest Overlooked Fossil Fuel Subsidy | ThinkProgress

Carbon: The Biggest Overlooked Fossil Fuel Subsidy | ThinkProgress: "These carbon emissions may reasonably be considered a subsidy because they impose various costs on society (on agricultural productivity, property damage, human health, etc.), but since most countries don’t yet put a price on carbon emissions, these costs are not reflected in the fossil fuel market price.  Rather than fossil fuel producers and consumers paying these costs, society as a whole picks up the tab.  Therefore, fossil fuel prices are kept artificially low (Figure 2), which is generally the purpose of subsidies."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Growth Ponzi Scheme - Strong Towns

The Growth Ponzi Scheme - Strong Towns: "The reason we have this gap is because the public yield from the suburban development pattern — the amount of tax revenue obtained per increment of liability assumed — is ridiculously low. Over a life cycle, a city frequently receives just a dime or two of revenue for each dollar of liability. The engineering profession will argue, as ASCE does, that we're simply not making the investments necessary to maintain this infrastructure. This is nonsense. We've simply built in a way that is not financially productive."