$235 billion subsidy for fossil fuels
The British Government has sent a letter to the World Bank saying it has not done enough to cut subsidies for extracting oil, coal and gas. It also said the Bank has not done enough to promote renewable energy generation.
A conservative estimate of worldwide subsidies for oil, gas and coal is $235 BILLION dollars.
It is often argued that renewable energy is not cost competitive with fossil based fuels. The reality is fossil fuels are heavily subsidised which makes developing renewable alternatives more difficult. A recent National Geographic article estimated that an unsubsidised gallon of gasoline would cost between $6 and $8.
Imagine how much more use of renewable energy we would be using if the subsidies were removed from fossil fuels. If they were then applied to renewable energy sources soon several would be cheaper than the current non-renewable choices.
Small scale renewables would also allow the first world to bring the health and economic benefits of electricity to the developing world in a sustainable way. Deaths from the effects of burning biomass indoors with inadequate ventilation have now surpassed AIDS in Africa.
We need to stop subsidising our addiction to fossil fuels, and invest in the alternatives.