Monday the 18th June saw the the launch of a 24 hour “Twitterstorm” against government subsidies paid annualy to the coal and petroleum industry.
The campaign was timed to perfection, started just before the Rio+20 conference to raise maximum awareness. Celebrities including Stephen Fry helped to get #EndFossilFuelSubsidies trending in second place worldwide.
So why all this fuss? Figures from the International Energy Agency show that government subsidies for fossil fuels are 12 times greater than those for renewable energy and the current draft of the Rio text fails to include anything oil, coal or gas subsidies which cost hundreds of billions of dollars.
Although the twitter campaign generated much media coverage one of the big challenges at the centre of this affair is the lobbying power of the beneficiaries of fossil fuel subsidies.
We leave you with this quote from Gro Harlem Brundtland, one of the architects of global sustainable governance:
“It is outrageous that this is happening still. . . You can’t take from poor. But the point is that most of these subsidies go to the rich not the poor. So if we can change the incentive system so poor people are given the same opportunities without polluting environment then we can change this wrong-footed way of inspiring development.”