Sept. 12, 2023 — Joanna Penn, Treasury Lords Minister, said the UK wasn’t subsidising fossil fuels, citing an international definition.
Speaking at the Economist Impact conference in London, Penn rejected the notion that that UK Treasury was slowing the climate transition by making the status quo really quite cheap.
Penn dodged my question, which was what plan did the Treasury have to speed up the transition?
Britain does subsidize fossil fuels, said Kate Hampton from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, speaking right after Penn. Subsidies have surged because of the war in Ukraine, she told the conference.
Fossil fuel companies are not meeting their emissions targets, Hampton said, citing methane limits.
Disclosure of climate risks and the process of setting targets are not doing the job of cutting global emissions, which will be at or near record levels this year.
African nations last week agreed to push for global carbon pricing to make the status quo a little less comfortable and create a new revenue stream for governments to help speed the transition and support vulnerable people. It’s a plan endorsed for years by the IMF.
Fossil fuel subsidies, on the other hand, are effectively negative carbon prices. While Britain has some of the world’s best climate policy, more ambitious law is still needed. England began the expansion of fossil fuel burning with the industrial revolution 200 years ago.
We need a new policy direction, Danae Kyriakopoulou, a climate leader at the Bank of England, said Tuesday.