From the Guardian’s Data Blog:
What’s particularly baffling is that while government support given to environmentally beneficial renewable power sources is subject to seemingly endless media and political scrutiny, the 500% larger subsidies given to oil, gas and (to a much lesser extent) coal rarely get much attention.
In case that 500% figure sounds hard to believe, here’s a chart showing the IEA’s estimate of all the energy subsidies given out globally over the last few years. As it makes clear, fossil fuels – and specifically oil and gas – account for the overwhelming majority.
It’s worth pausing for a moment to take in the sheer amount of money we’re talking about here: more than half a trillion dollars in 2008 (when energy prices hit record highs), equivalent to the total GDP of Sweden or Saudi Arabia.