4 October 2011, BBC News
Global subsidies for fossil fuel consumption are set to reach $660 billion in 2020 unless reforms are passed to effectively eliminate this form of state aid, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday. "Governments and taxpayers spent about half a trillion dollars last year supporting the production and consumption of fossil fuels," the energy watchdog said. "In a period of persistently high energy prices, subsidies represent a significant economic liability," it said.
4 October 2011, Oil & Gas Journal
The IEA said that eliminating fossil-fuel consumption subsidies would slash the growth in energy demand by 2020 by 4.1%, or 3.7 million barrels of oil a day. The IEA data focuses on subsidies related to energy consumption and doesnt include subsidies on fossil-fuel-energy production. IEA officials said they were hopeful that recent changes in Iran would improve that countrys standing. Yet Iran was still by far the biggest country in terms of fossil-fuel consumption subsidies in 2010 with more than $80 billion. Iran was followed by other major energy exporters, Saudi Arabia and Russia, according to an IEA chart. If these trends continue for the energy exporters, "they will lose a lot of hard cash," IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol said.
4 October 2011, Arab News
The International Energy Agency wants world governments to curb state subsidies for fossil fuels as a way to help the environment, ease strains on national budgets and boost economies. The Paris-based organization of developed and heavy oil-consuming nations estimates that more than $409 billion in state subsidies were paid out last year - a striking 33 percent increase from the year before. The United States is by far the worlds top consumer of oil and President Barack Obama has sought to repeal billions of dollars in U.S. government subsidies enjoyed by big oil companies every year. In addition to production subsidies like these and other tax breaks for industry, some countries also subsidize oil consumption in order to reduce the cost to citizens. Removing these subsidies could cause these consumers fuel bills to rise.
4 October 2011, Associated Press
According to OECD and IEA analyses, governments and taxpayers spent about half a trillion dollars last year supporting the production and consumption of fossil fuels. The organisations analyses suggested removing inefficient subsidies to raise national revenues and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The G-20 Leaders in 2009 agreed to phase out subsidies that "encourage wasteful consumption, reduce our energy security, impede investment in clean energy sources and undermine efforts to deal with the threat of climate change." OECD and IEA data and analysis are contributing actively to the follow-up on this commitment by the G20.Work by the IEA, to be published in the World Energy Outlook 2011 on November 9, demonstrates that phasing out subsidies to fossil fuels, if well-executed, can generate important economic, energy security and environmental benefits.
4 October 2011, Hindustan Times
The world’s entire population can have electricity and cleaner stoves by 2030 if $48 billion is invested each year, the International Energy Agency said in its first estimate of the cost to end energy poverty. The obstacles to providing modern energy access to everyone are surmountable and national governments should publish targets and provide more seed capital to incentivize private investors, IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol said in an interview from Paris. “Providing energy for all is crucial for social and economic development, and beyond that it’s a moral obligation,” he said. An illustration of the inequality is that 791 million people in sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa use about as much energy each year as 19.5 million people in New York State, Birol said, citing IEA data.
4 October 2011, Wall Street Journal
Energy poverty is an unacceptable blight - one that wont disappear unless strong, coordinated actions are taken on a global scale. Now, a new report from the International Energy Agency shows that universal access to modern energy by 2030 is an achievable goal and spells out exactly how to pay for it. The IEA report, "Energy for All: financing access for the poor," is an early excerpt of the World Energy Outlook 2011. Ms. Van der Hoeven and IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol launched the report today at Energy for All, a special conference that the government of Norway and the IEA organised to explore financing solutions and policies for increased energy access.
4 October 2011, Forbes
The World Energy Outook-2011 special excerpt, "Energy for all: Financing access for the poor" is now available. The special report, which tackles the critical issue of financing the delivery of universal modern energy access, was released today in a high-level international conference on financing energy access hosted by the government of Norway in co-operation with the International Energy Agency. Tackling the issue of modern energy access is crucial if the global community wants to achieve its goals of eradicating poverty and accelerating social and economic development. The United Nations International Year of Sustainable Energy for All in 2012 is an excellent opportunity to agree rapid collective action. A target of universal modern energy access by 2030 is achievable and, as shown in this report, has only a small impact on global energy demand and carbon emissions." says IEA Chief Economist, Dr. Fatih Birol.
4 October 2011, OilVoice
About 1.3 billion of the worlds seven billion people have no access to energy, while another 2.7 billion are without clean cooking facilities, using coal and wood for domestic tasks, according to a study published Monday by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA study shows that 48 billion dollars would be needed per year to guarantee access to modern energy services by 2030, or a little more than five times the amount currently earmarked. "This is really a small amount," IEA chief economist Fatih Birol said, adding: "It is only three percent of the global energy investments." Birol said the use of dirty fuels for cooking was the second-leading cause of premature death behind AIDS, responsible for killing 1.5 million women and children each year. "If you dont find a solution to this problem, very soon it will be the primary source of premature death worldwide…, which is unacceptable," he said. Financially feasible, universal access to energy would only lead to a 1.1 percent rise in global energy demand, since poor households would still be limited in their consumption, and a 0.7 percent rise in greenhouse gas emissions, according to the IEA. "The implications are very small. There are no real tensions between the targets of providing energy access and the issues of energy security and climate change," Birol concluded.
29 June 2011, Wall Street Journal
The IEA estimates that subsidies to artificially reduce the price of fossil fuels are on the rise among the 24 OECD countries - 2010 saw subsidies worth almost $110bn more than the year previous, while annual support during the years 2005 to 2010 ranged from $45bn to $75bn. Over half the subsidies supported the oil industry, racking up $193bn in support during 2010, while a further $91bn went to natural gas. The IEA spoke out against subsidies earlier this year, while the World Bank claimed last month the money would be better spent helping poor countries address climate change. Birol noted some progress had been made since 2009 when G20 leaders agreed to phase out subsidies that "encourage wasteful consumption, reduce our energy security, impede investment in clean energy sources and undermine efforts to deal with the threat of climate change". He praised efforts to scale back subsidies in China, Russia and India, while the IEA report noted the Unites States 2012 federal budget proposes eliminating a broad range of energy industry subsidies as part of efforts to save more than $3.6bn.
27 June 2011, Financial Times
Work by the IEA, to be published in the World Energy Outlook 2011 on November 9, demonstrates that phasing out subsidies to fossil fuels, if well-executed, can generate important economic, energy security and environmental benefits. The OECD Secretary-General and IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven emphasised that subsidies to fossil-fuel consumers often fail to meet their intended objectives. "In a period of persistently high energy prices, subsidies represent a significant economic liability," said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven, noting IEA estimates that subsidies that artificially reduce the price of fossil-fuels amounted to USD 409 billion in 2010 - almost USD 110 billion higher than in 2009. This is based on the IEAs global survey to identify economies that artificially lower end-use prices for fossil fuels to below the full cost of supply.