Pump. Photo source: ©© Tashland
This week, much of the globe’s attention is focused on the United Nation’s Rio +20 Earth Summit, where thousands of international delegates and NGO representatives are gathering to hammer out solutions to an increasingly stressed out, warmed-up world.
As the slow-burn of climate change spreads across the four corners of the globe, governments are fanning the global flames by dishing out a trillion dollars of fossil fuel subsidies each year, creating a perpetual pollution-pumping machine that’s poisoning the planet with ever-greater intensity.
This needs to change if we’re going to pull out of the environmental death-spiral we’re zooming toward. As NRDC’s Jake Schmidt reports from Rio, the International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde couldn’t have said it better:
Many countries continue to subsidize polluting energy systems. These subsidies are costly for the budget and costly for the planet. Countries should reduce them. But in doing so, they must protect vulnerable groups by tightly focusing subsidies on products used by poorer people, and by strengthening social safety nets.
NRDC and a variety of NGOs are demanding that world leaders stop coddling the fossil fuel industry and focus instead on promoting rapidly developing clean energy technologies to protect our natural resources and maintain a sustainable planet. As Jake Schmidt put it, it’s not rocket science. But there are powerful special interests standing in the way…