"Global subsidies for fossil fuel consumption are set to reach $660 billion in 2020 unless reforms are passed to effectively eliminate this form of state aid, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday."
""Governments and taxpayers spent about half a trillion dollars last year supporting the production and consumption of fossil fuels," the energy watchdog to 28 industrialized countries said.
"In a period of persistently high energy prices, subsidies represent a significant economic liability," it said in an extract of its annual World Energy Outlook, which is due to be published in full on November 9.
The IEA estimated such subsidies at $409 billion in 2010, compared to $312 billion in 2009. Oil products had the largest subsidies at $193 billion in 2010 while $91 billion went to natural gas. Iran and Saudi Arabia had the biggest subsidies."