IMF - Fossil fuel subsidy at $2 trillion

Christine Lagarde argues $2tr of Fossil fuel energy subsidies 'could have been used more wisely' 

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has pledged to help boost the green economy and tackle climate change by highlighting the damage of misplaced energy subsidies.

Speaking at a United Nations summit on sustainable development this week, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, said getting the pricing right for the green economy was crucial to delivering sustainable development.
Lagarde said that while the IMF was not an environmental group, it could help to "shine a light on the murky cobweb of energy subsidies".

She said that global subsidies in 2011 amounted to nearly $2tr in 2011, which was equal to 2.5 per cent of global GDP. The US, China and Russia topped the list of countries spending the most.

"Taking action on this issue alone - energy subsidies - would be good for the budget, good for the economy, and good for the planet," she said.

Her comments echo those of the International Energy Agency, which has repeatedly called on governments around the world to end the $0.5tr of annual subsidies given to oil and gas production, which it says represents the greatest challenge facing renewable energy markets.