Removing subsidies for fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil would slash global carbon dioxide emissions within five years, according to a new report.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Nordic Council of Ministers looked at ending fossil fuel subsidies in 20 countries between now and 2020.

They found that the move would cut emissions by 11%.
Using 30% of the money saved by not offering subsidies and investing it in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects would boost emission reductions to 18%, they added.

2.8Gt saving

The report estimated that the equivalent of 2.8Gt of carbon dioxide could be prevented from being emitted into the atmosphere.

“The estimated emission reductions vary significantly by country,” the report said.

“Those countries with large fossil fuel subsidies, and which have the greatest potential for switching to cleaner and more efficient energy, would see the largest reductions.”

> Download the report