You Can’t Feed Your Addiction and Break It, Too

30 April 2013

While delegates will be discussing low emission development opportunities in today’s workshop, many of your countries are still feeding their tragic addiction to fossil fuels. You say you want to keep global warming below 2°C and to keep the door open for 1.5°C, but in fact you are consuming fossil fuels as if 4 degrees was the new 2 degrees.

The International Monetary Fund tells us thzat this addiction is costing your taxpayers USD 1.9 trillion each year in subsidies for the fossil fuel industry (FYI, for comparison, 1.9 trillion seconds is about 60,000 years!). As shown recently by the International Energy Agency, the result of this is a continuous rise of global carbon emissions each year, while we know that emissions should in fact peak well before 2015. 
The archaic, continued support for fossil fuels means that they remain artificially profitable and that low carbon alternatives such as renewable energy sources and energy efficiency are emerging much slower than they could. Let’s be honest here: you are not aiming for a 2°C world. No, in fact you are undermining the development of these low carbon opportunities, which could create local jobs and steer innovation. Instead you line the pockets of the fossil fuel dealers and encourage them to invest further in a 4+°C future. 
Just last year, the energy industry invested 674 billion dollars for more fossil fuels! However, the Carbon Tracker Initiative has shown that national governments and global markets have created a carbon bubble that will make the real estate bubble look like a blip. If Parties are really serious about avoiding dangerous climate change, nearly 70 percent of known reserves of oil, gas and coal must remain in the ground. Further investments in fossil fuels are locking us in to a carbon-intensive development pathway and making climate action more costly, while diverting investments from existing low cost low carbon solutions.
In ECO’s opinion, any new fossil fuel infrastructure puts our planet at risk. ECO therefore suggests that you stop being bipolar and start having a serious conversation here in Bonn about how to phase out fossil fuels subsidies. ECO has pointed out that this phasing out should not increase the vulnerability of people in developing countries and therefore must happen in developed countries first.
The ADP could develop ambitious pathways for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies in developed countries and identify options to shift those subsidies to additional mitigation activities (allowing higher pledges by developed countries). Imagine all that you can do with these savings from phasing out subsidies! You could use this money to support climate actions in developing countries! Or, at the very least, buy ECO some very nice birthday presents (green's our favourite colour).
For developing countries, the ADP could support work to carefully switch fossil fuel subsidies into supporting clean energy access and fostering sustainable development. The ADP could also identify and discuss ways for some developing countries to pursue fossil fuel subsidy phase-out as supported NAMAs.
Being conflicted over such a serious issue can’t be good for your mental health over the long term. Best resolve it now.

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