"G20 Agrees To Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies: Draft"

"PITTSBURGH -- The Group of 20 will agree to phase out subsidies on oil and other fossil fuels in the 'medium term,' but will not set a firm timetable for the move aimed at combating global warming, a draft statement said.

The G20 will also intensify efforts to reach a U.N. deal on climate change later this year, said the draft communique obtained by Reuters at a G20 summit in Pittsburgh.

The leaders will ask their finance ministers to come up with a range of options for climate finance -- payments from rich countries to poor countries dealing with global warming -- at their next meeting.

The final version of the communique will be issued by the leaders at the end of their two-day meeting on Friday.

Governments in several G20 countries, including countries such as China, Russia and India, subsidize fuel such as coal and oil to keep prices artificially low for consumers, boosting demand for hydrocarbons and emissions from them.

Eliminating such subsidies would reduce greenhouse gases blamed for global warming by 10 percent in 2050, the draft said, citing data from the International Energy Agency and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)."

Jeff Mason and Darren Ennis report for Reuters September September 25, 2009.

Friday, September 25, 2009