Global nature pact urged to reform harmful subsidies of $1.8 trln a year

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Subsidies that are harming ecosystems, wildlife and the climate amount to nearly $2 trillion a year, researchers said on Thursday, calling for the subsidies to be reformed under talks on a global nature pact due to be agreed in the coming months.

The researchers found that annually the fossil fuel industry receives $640 billion in support and environmentally harmful agricultural activities get $520 billion, while $350 billion flows to unsustainable freshwater use and the management of water and wastewater infrastructure.

The types of subsidies that are harmful to nature include the promotion of biofuel crops that can cause deforestation when land is cleared, chemical pesticide use in farming and providing businesses with cheap water at the expense of communities.