Governments across the G20 countries are estimated to be spending $88 billion every year subsidising exploration for fossil fuels. Their exploration subsidies marry bad economics with potentially disastrous consequences for climate change. In effect, governments are propping up the development of oil, gas and coal reserves that cannot be exploited if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.
Fossil fuel subsidies have allowed energy exporting countries to distribute resource revenue, bolstering legitimacy for governments, many of which are not democratically elected. But subsidy benefits are dwarfed by the harmful consequences of encouraging uneconomic use of energy. Now, with consumption posing a threat to long-term exports, governments face a heightened need to raise prices that have come to be viewed as entitlements.
The value of the Russian government’s support to the upstream oil and gas activities is very significant. The subsidies to oil and gas producers in Russia that have been identified and quantified in this report amounted to 4.2 per cent and 6.0 per cent of the total value of oil and gas production in Russia in 2009 and 2010 respectively. These subsidies also amounted to 8.6 per cent and 14.4 per cent of the industry’s total tax and other payments to the federal government in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
Matteo Milazzo, World Bank Technical Paper. Study examines the role of subsidies in generating fishing capacity far in excess of biological productive capacity.
Center for Energy Efficiency Russia, Igor Bashmakov. Paper derived from presentations on Russian energy subsidies to the IEA. Provides review of energy pricing in Russia, and arguments about how subsidies should be calculated. Includes detailed information on district heating systems and on budget support for heating.