UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Limited emission reductions from fuel subsidy removal except in energy-exporting regions

Jewell, J; McCollum, D; Emmerling, J; Bertram, C; Gernaat, DEHJ; Krey, V; Paroussos, L; ... Riahi, K; + view all (2018) Limited emission reductions from fuel subsidy removal except in energy-exporting regions. Nature , 554 pp. 229-233. 10.1038/nature25467. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
SI Subsidies paper 180115.pdf - Accepted version

Download (5MB) | Preview
[img]
Preview
Text
Keppo_Subsidies paper full manuscript OA.pdf - Accepted version

Download (792kB) | Preview

Abstract

Hopes are high that removing fossil fuel subsidies could help to mitigate climate change by discouraging inefficient energy consumption and levelling the playing field for renewable energy1,2,3. In September 2016, the G20 countries re-affirmed their 2009 commitment (at the G20 Leaders’ Summit) to phase out fossil fuel subsidies4,5 and many national governments are using today’s low oil prices as an opportunity to do so6,7,8,9. In practical terms, this means abandoning policies that decrease the price of fossil fuels and electricity generated from fossil fuels to below normal market prices10,11. However, whether the removal of subsidies, even if implemented worldwide, would have a large impact on climate change mitigation has not been systematically explored. Here we show that removing fossil fuel subsidies would have an unexpectedly small impact on global energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions and would not increase renewable energy use by 2030. Subsidy removal would reduce the carbon price necessary to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration at 550 parts per million by only 2–12 per cent under low oil prices. Removing subsidies in most regions would deliver smaller emission reductions than the Paris Agreement (2015) climate pledges and in some regions global subsidy removal may actually lead to an increase in emissions, owing to either coal replacing subsidized oil and natural gas or natural-gas use shifting from subsidizing, energy-exporting regions to non-subsidizing, importing regions. Our results show that subsidy removal would result in the largest CO2 emission reductions in high-income oil- and gas-exporting regions, where the reductions would exceed the climate pledges of these regions and where subsidy removal would affect fewer people living below the poverty line than in lower-income regions.

Type: Article
Title: Limited emission reductions from fuel subsidy removal except in energy-exporting regions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/nature25467
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature25467
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043018
Downloads since deposit
92Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item