By Geoffrey Supran, Peter Erickson, Doug Koplow, Michael Lazarus, Peter Newell, Naomi Oreskes, Harro van Asselt on February 24, 2020 Scientific American
Despite claims to the contrary, eliminating them would have a significant effect in addressing the climate crisis
When it comes to tackling the climate crisis, ending $400 billion of annual subsidies to the fossil-fuel industry worldwide seems like a no-brainer. For the past decade, world leaders have been resolving and reaffirming the need to phase them out. All of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have committed to eliminating fossil-fuel subsidies, and the vast majority of the American public supports doing so. International financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have joined the chorus, pointing to the benefits of reform.
In 2018, however, a group of researchers questioned the magnitude of the climate benefits of subsidy reform, reporting that their simulations showed its effect would be “limited” and “small.”
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