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The Way To Drastic Cuts In Climate Emissions

World Affairs – Environment

Open Eyes Opinion {source: NORDEN}

Nordic Council of Ministers Report

 

New report shows the way to drastic cuts in climate emissions

 

 

 

Governments around the world are spending $550bn a year to subsidize the consumption of fossil fuels. That is four times more than spending on renewable energy subsidies. A new report from the Nordic Council of Ministers and the International Institute for Sustainable Development shows the way towards a cut of 10-20% in greenhouse gas emissions within 5 years.

New report shows the way to drastic cuts in climate emissions

Removing fossil fuel subsidies would significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions within 5 years. Governments can further reduce emissions by simultaneously investing some of those savings into renewable energy and energy efficiency.

This is shown by new research from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM).

– The Nordic example has shown for decades that it is possible to grow your economy while reducing climate emissions. Fossil fuel subsidy reform could be another important step in this direction and we need to find alternative energy solutions for the future, says Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The report includes a model that calculates the impact of removing fossil fuel subsidies in 20 countries between now and 2020.

The result shows that subsidy removal would reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 11% by 2020, compared to business as usual.

If governments also reinvested some savings into renewable energy and energy efficiency by spending just 30% of savings on clean and efficient energy, greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by an average of 18% in 5 years across the 20 countries.

Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform

The research for the report  was carried out by IISD’s “Global Subsidies Initiative”, in partnership with the Nordic Council of Ministers, as part of the Nordic Prime Ministers’ green growth initiative, “The Nordic Countries – leading in green growth”.

Nordic countries have been important supporters of fossil fuel subsidy reform. Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are members of the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (FFFSR), a grouping that also includes New Zealand, Costa Rica, Switzerland and Ethiopia.

In the lead up to COP21, the FFSR is backing a Communiqué that calls on the international community to increase efforts to phase-out subsidies to fossil fuels.

– With average yearly financial savings to governments of around USD 93 per tonne of carbon removed from the system, fossil fuel subsidy reform is one policy tool that governments can no longer afford to ignore, according to Anna Lindstedt, Climate Ambassador for Sweden.

The Nordic countries will have a shared pavilion at COP21 and the Nordic Council of Ministers will organize a series of events under the heading “New Nordic Climate Solutions”, including discussions of fossil fuel subsidy reform.

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[photo credits-featured image: “Mangrove”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mangrove.jpg#/media/File:Mangrove.jpg]

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