Tim Groser announced:
Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser today led a coalition of governments calling for the phase-out of subsidies to fossil fuels in the lead-up to a major climate conference in Paris.
New Zealand, along with Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland today endorsed a statement to be delivered to the Paris conference that supports the elimination of inefficient subsidies to fossil fuels on environmental, economic and social grounds. The first countries to endorse the initiative were the United States and France which joined New Zealand in Washington to launch the statement.
This is something most people should agree on. I’m generally against most subsidies, and definitely against fossil fuel subsidies.
So how much of an impact do fossil fuel subsidies have?
“New Zealand is leading efforts to urge countries to reform, as this is the missing piece in the climate change jigsaw. More than one third of global carbon emissions between 1980 and 2010 are estimated to have been driven by subsidies for fossil fuels,” said Mr Groser.
Many of the “solutions” for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are very unpalatable. The Greens want to shoot or get rid of one fifth of the national dairy herd, for example. But this is a solution that should have widespread support.
“Transparency is an essential first step, and that’s why New Zealand was one of the first countries to undertake APEC peer review of our policies. The international review panel has already given its preliminary conclusions, confirming it did not identify any inefficient subsidies.
The communique notes:
The majority of fossil-fuel subsidies are also socially regressive, with benefits disproportionately skewed toward middle- and upper-middle income households.
Another reason to get rid of them.