The vast subsidy derives largely from the cost to governments of the harm caused by air pollution from burning coal, oil and gas, as well as floods, droughts and storms being driven by climate change.
The $120 billion a year subsidies for renewable energy is relatively tiny in comparison and would be unnecessary if fossil fuel prices reflected the full cost of their impacts.
Lord Nicholas Stern of the London School of Economics, said that even the IMF’s vast subsidy figure was a significant underestimate: “A more complete estimate of the costs due to climate change would show the implicit subsidies for fossil fuels are much bigger even than this report suggests.”
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