Minister calls on WTO to support fossil fuel subsidy reform

Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker today started a dialogue to encourage the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to address the global harm being caused by inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

“Each year, governments are spending at least 425 billion dollars subsidising the production and sale of coal, oil, gas and other greenhouse gas emitting fuels,” says Mr Parker. We want to change this.

“This money could be better used to pursue other development goals or invest in the renewable energy sector.

Mr Parker co-hosted an event with Finland to deliver a Ministerial statement to the WTO on Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (FFSR).  

Endorsed by twelve other WTO Members, the statement confirms the environmental, development and trade benefits of fossil fuel subsidy reform, especially the most inefficient ones that encourage waste and includes a political commitment by participants to look at avenues to bring the issue into the WTO.

“Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies will offer huge opportunities for promotion of sustainable development, renewable energy, removal of trade distortions and the reduction of global warming” says Mr Parker.

“A partial phase-out of subsidies would contribute to climate change mitigation efforts and the Paris Agreement. Removing fossil fuel subsidies for consumption alone could lead to the reduction of global emissions by between 6-8% by 2050.”

“I believe that trade policy can contribute to global environmental solutions and we will be making appropriate steps to achieve that,” says Mr Parker.