Thursday, 10 November 2016

PRESS RELEASE - COP22 - Marrakech - Greens call for an end to Fossil Fuel subsidies

Representatives from  governments from around the World  are meeting In Marrakech, Morocco this month to see how the targets that were agreed in the Paris Climate talks last year can be delivered.  Green Party Energy Spokesperson Councillor Andrew Cooper who will be attending in Marrakech has called for all fossil fuel subsidies to be phased out globally over the next 3 year to help acheive those targets. Councillor Cooper is part of the EU Committee of the Regions delegation that is representing the position of Local, Regional and Devolved Governments from across the European Union.

Councillor Cooper said "the International Monetary Fund has calculated the subsidies to the fossil fuel industry to be in the region of a  colossal $5.3 Trillion (£4.3Trillion). That is the equivalent of around £570/year for every person on the Planet.This is  a huge expense that is damaging to our environment and the health of the people of the world. Subsiding damaging fossil fuels in this way makes it even harder to acheive the targets agreed at COP21 in Paris last year."

" This huge subsidy puts into context the recent $1 Billion Low Carbon Fund offered by Big Oil and Gas companies. This fund represents a very small drop in an ocean of oil money supported by huge subsidy from Governments around the world. We should be clear that this is no where near enough to mitigate the damage their industry inflicts on out environment on a daily basis"

Cllr Cooper called for those subsidies to reinvested into positive actions that help combat climate change

"Imagine if the amount of subsidy to the fossil fuel sector was instead invested in large scale energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes to fund the transition to a low carbon economy."

"We need a quick end to all fossil fuel subsidies. Direct subsidies should be stopped. Other subsidies should be removed by imposing carbon taxes sufficient to pay for the damage caused by burning fossil fuels. The needs to avoid major economic disruption and to protect the poor mean that this cannot happen overnight but it must happen quickly and to an agreed timetable. The poor and those on low incomes should be protected against price increases and be the first to benefit from renewable technologies and energy efficiency measures i.e. solar panels and insulation measures to homes,

For this proposal to be successful we need each country to create and publish a subsidy phase out plan within 9 months for discussion at the next Climate Summit, COP23.

It is going to be interesting is to see how the UK Government representatives in Marrakech justify their current policy decisions which fly in the face of the scientific evidence. This year has seen £1 Billion in tax breaks for oil and gas companies in the North Sea, planning and financial incentives for shale gas companies, cuts in support for renewable energy and energy efficiency and the bizarre and wrong headed proposal for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. The UK Government is fast reclaiming our former title  of 'The Dirty Man of Europe'. We need to see some rapid acceptance from Prime Minister May that we need less warm words on Climate Change from her Government and more properly insulated warm homes powered by renewable energy."

We also need a commitment from fossil fuel companies to change to a more positive culture by:

·         Not funding climate denial organisations and campaigns.
·         Not lobbying governments to prolong subsidies.
·         and to positively develop their own transition plans to more socially and environmentally useful activities

No comments:

Post a Comment