Report: Fossil Fuel Subsidies Hurting Global Economic Growth

NRDC: Instead of subsidizing corporations that destroy planet, governments should support clean and renewable energy

RIO DE JANEIRO—(ENEWSPF)–June 18, 2012 – Ending fossil fuel subsidies would save governments nearly $1 trillion while also improving environment and economic conditions worldwide, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental and social advocacy groups.

At a press conference at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, NRDC international climate policy director Jake Schmidt made the following statement:

“The only beneficiaries of fossil fuel subsidies are oil, gas and coal companies that are raking in record profits at the expense of the rest of us.

“Instead of subsidizing well-established corporations that destroy our planet, governments ought to be doing more to help support and develop more clean, renewable energy that can actually help our planet, reduce our energy consumption and revive our economies.”

Based on government data from around the world, the new report finds that ending fossil fuel subsidies would:

  • Save governments and taxpayers $775 billion each year.
  • Reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by 6 percent by 2020.
  • Reduce global energy demand by 5 percent by 2020.
  • Not hurt the poor (if the right policies are adopted) since the vast majority of subsidies mainly benefit only the richest segments of the population.

NRDC created the report with partners Oil Change International, Vasudha Foundation (India) and Greenovation Hub (China) and Heinich Boll Stiftung (Germany).

To read the report in its entirety, see

For a fact sheet on fossil fuel subsidies, see

And for more, see:

NRDC trustee Robert Redford’s blog here:

NRDC president Frances Beinecke’s blog here:

NRDC international program attorney Anthony Swift’s blog here:

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.