Feeds

Two-faced world spends billions on climate help, fossil fuel

Not by the same people though...

Build a business case: developing custom apps

You can't grow nothing without diesel

Russia similarly: they've got more gas than anyone else (at least until all this shale gas comes on line). And if you lived in Norilsk, above the Arctic Circle, you'd be screaming that it should be cheap for Russians in Russia.

The Saudis' excuse for subsidies is obvious and India has a democratic pissing match each election as to who is going to promise ever greater subsidies to farmers. Usually, politicians promise subsidies to farmers for coal-fired electricity, or for diesel to run the irrigation pumps. And so it goes on. In each of these nations, for slightly different reasons, the governments are locked into making energy cheap for the populace.

Iran, it is true, is trying to change this, having just announced various cuts in the subsidies. This is essentially because even the mullahs working their economics out of a seventh century holy book have realised that this is absurd. China has reduced petrol subsidies, and even Russia starts to mutter about letting domestic gas prices rise.

One way of dealing with this is simply to do a Loadsamoney and shout: ”Oi! You! Shut it!” and stop them all being such silly billys. This isn't, however, how international diplomacy works now that Palmerston has retired. So the IEA is saying in this report that if only we could get these subsidies reduced or eliminated then we could reduce the consumption of fossil fuels (pg 7 of the slide show) and thus save 6 or 7 per cent of cumulative CO2 emissions from energy production over the next decade.

I fully expect the newspaper reports to rather gloss over some of these points. Indeed, when an earlier version of this report fell into George Monbiot's hands, he did gloss over them. We'll be told that we have to stop such fossil fuel subsidies: which is really rather odd as “we” don't have any such fossil fuel subsidies to stop, not in the way the IEA count them at least. (Well, OK, a little bit to coal, which is falling now, in Germany)

What we're actually trying to do is stop is Johnny Foreigner whacking out subsidies which entirely negate the tens of billions we ourselves are spending on trying to reduce emissions.

However, much more interesting than using this as an exercise in spotting journamalism (although what fun, eh?) it really does show how climate change has become the big issue, doesn't it? Instead of our suggesting to the governments of Iran, Russia etc that bankrupting themselves with subsidies isn't all that good an idea, they might want to stop doing that, we've got the international organisations having to use the cloak of climate concerns to point out the same blindingly obvious point. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.