Climate Change Minister calls for phase-out of fossil fuel subsidiesClimate Change Issues
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.
“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.
“By keeping prices to consumers artificially low, fossil-fuel subsidies encourage wasteful consumption, disadvantage renewable energy and drain scarce public resources that could be better spent on other sustainable development goals.
“The elimination of fossil fuel subsidies would make a significant contribution to the goal of keeping average temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
"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.
“Today's communiqué is a high-profile platform for countries and other actors to express their support for phasing out harmful fossil fuel subsidies. The timing is right for reform when oil prices are low and the impact of reducing or removing subsidies will be felt less,” said Mr Groser.
For full text of the communique see: http://www.iisd.org/publications/fossil-fuel-subsidy-reform-communique