"Abolishing fossil fuel subsidies would boost the world's economy, environment and energy security, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday, referring to a pledge made by G20 countries.
World leaders committed in Pittsburgh in 2009 to phase out, over the medium-term, fossil fuel subsidies which encouraged wasteful consumption. A G20 meeting in Seoul this week may update progress on the goal.
"Eradicating subsidies to fossil fuels would enhance energy security, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution, and bring economic benefits," said the IEA, the energy watchdog to 28 industrialized countries, in its annual set-piece World Energy Outlook.
The report estimated such subsidies at $312 billion in 2009, mostly in developing countries, compared with $57 billion in subsidies for renewable energy.
Fossil fuel subsidies were on course to reach $600 billion by 2015, and renewables subsidies more than $100 billion, said Fatih Birol, IEA chief economist and lead author of the report."