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Greenpeace attacks fossil fuels
1 July 1997
As part of its campaign to stop oil exploration and phase out fossil fuels, Greenpeace is calling on all governments to remove subsidies to fossil fuel and nuclear energy industries, transferring the funds to programmes that accelerate the commercialisation of solar energy technologies and the uptake of energy efficiency. In its newsletter, Greenpeace Business, the environment pressure group states: "Almost $15 billion of European taxpayer's money is spent each year to subsidise energy systems which damage the climate and increase the risk from nuclear power. The Inter-governmental panel on Climate Change estimates that removing energy subsidies worldwide would cut CO2 emissions by up to 18%." According to a Greenpeace report, Energy Subsidises in Europe, more than 90% of direct energy subsidies in Europe go to fossil fuels (63%) and nuclear power (28%). Only 9%, $1.5 billion a year, goes to renewables. "Subsidies force down the price of fossil fuels, encourage consumers to use more, stimulate new exploration for fossil fuels and therefore exacerbate global warming," says Greenpeace. The growth in renewables is therefore suppressed and a truly competitive market is undermined, it adds.
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