G20 Renews Pledge To Cut Fossil Fuel Subsidies

At the G20 meeting in Toronto on Sunday, leaders of the world’s biggest economies renewed a pledge to phase out subsidies for "inefficient" fossil fuels.

The idea was originally proposed by U.S. President Obama at the G20 gathering in Pittsburgh last September.

According to a Reuters report, some last-minute pressure from the U.S. over the weekend kept the pledge from being weakened in the language of the meeting communique. 

An earlier version of the statement mentioned "voluntary, member-specific approaches" to cutting subsidies. However, the final statement–which has no legal authority–calls for a "phase out over the medium term of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, taking into account vulnerable groups and their development needs."  (Reuters reporting)

Based on data from the International Energy Agency and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, if G20 countries cut the subsidies by 2020, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions 10% by 2050.

The statement also mentions the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and encourages the sharing of best practices to prevent accidents and protect ecosystems. 

In Related News…

Canada will phase out older coal-fired power plants to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said last week. The country plans to transition to more natural-gas fired plants.

Read Reuters coverage at the link below.

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