Axios cites research from the IMF and International Energy Agency, which estimates fossil fuel subsidies doubled from the previous year. The Russian invasion of Ukraine prompted much of the subsidies, which served as “policy interventions” shielding people from the brunt of highly volatile pricing in the global energy market. And yet, people still felt the effects of this volatility with high gasoline prices throughout 2022. That makes the subsidies that much more offensive since these come from public money.
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Even so, the blame isn’t squarely on volatile energy pricing, because the G20 has consistently failed to meet its goals since 2009. It’s been nearly a decade and a half since the global summit that proclaimed government investments would be sunsetted, but subsidies show no sign of slowing down. One of the main problems behind these subsidies is that public help makes fossil fuels seem cheaper than renewable energy sources. That’s less true as renewables scale, and yet subsidies keep masking the true cost of our continued reliance on fossil fuels.