Most strategies to tackle climate change cost governments money. What if you could reduce more than 10% of GHG emissions just by cutting spending?
This was one of the questions facing climate negotiators in Bonn this month (19-23 October) as they negotiated the draft text for the 21st Conference of Parties (CoP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in early December 2015.
The Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) launched research that investigated the impact on emissions by 2020 of the phased removal of consumer fossil fuel subsidies across 20 countries.
The report, entitled ‘Tackling Fossil Fuels Subsidies and Climate Change’ is the culmination of two years of research into this issue supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The GSI finds an average reduction in national GHG emissions of 11% by 2020 among subsidizing countries. Governments actually save US$ 93 per tonne of CO2 removed.
Assuming the modest recycling of 30 per cent of savings to renewables and energy efficiency, countries can achieve even more ambitious outcomes: an average reduction of 18% of GHG emissions. This results in a cumulative total of 2.8 gigatonnes of CO2e saved, rising to 6.3 Gt by 2025.