$1.8 trillion a year spent on harmful subsidies

Despite the growing urgency to curtail the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, environmentally harmful subsidies continue to undercut progress toward solving this global dilemma. According to a new report, $1.8 trillion a year is spent on subsidies that exasperate the climate crisis and harm wildlife. Equivalent to 2% of the global GDP, environmental subsidies work against the Paris agreement and the latest draft of biodiversity targets. The largest subsidy beneficiary is the fossil fuel industry, collecting a whopping $620 billion a year. This is followed by the agricultural sector with $520 billion, the water sector with $320 billion and the forestry sector with $155 billion. Effectively, these subsidies are financing the climate crisis, water pollution, deforestation, biodiversity loss and further environmental devastation. Set to be finalized during the second phase of COP 15 hosted in Kunming, China this year, the latest draft biodiversity targets call for the elimination of $500 billion worth of subsidies a year. As Christina Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told the Guardian, “Harmful subsidies must be redirected towards protecting the climate and nature, rather than financing our own extinction.”

Photo by salajean from Getty Images/Canva

CRC Comments