IEA Chief Economist: governments “stealing money from the poor”

» By | Published 30 Apr 2013
Fatih Birol, Opening Session, EWEA 2013 in Vienna.

Fatih Birol, Opening Session, EWEA 2013 in Vienna.

By subsidising fossil fuels, governments are “stealing money from the pockets of the poor, who would get money otherwise for schools and hospitals”.

So says Fatih Birol, Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency, in the latest issue of Wind Directions.

Fossil fuels get over half a trillion US dollars – six times more than renewables, but 80% of this money goes to households with high and middle incomes, he says.

He adds that if renewable energy subsidies are used intelligently, “they can help kick-off renewables projects which would help us to reduce environmental problems and at the same time help to improve the energy security of countries and help to get jobs in the renewables sector.”

Read the full interview in Wind Directions

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