John Key turns climate conference into a trade barrier negotiation

Most recent available OECD figures on fuel subsidies

Most recent available OECD figures on fuel subsidies

Prime Minister John Key has led a call at the Paris climate change conference for an end to inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, but Australia has baulked at backing it.

Mr Key is one of about 150 world leaders at the United Nations conference, which began on Monday with most of them making opening addresses.

Mr Key said Paris must produce a meaningful agreement.

“New Zealand wants a deal that puts the world on a pathway towards limiting global temperature rise to no more than 2C,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Key presented a message to the UN from close to 40 nations calling for the removal of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies – which research suggested could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 percent.

Countries subsidised fossil fuels to the tune of US$500 billion ($NZ765b) in 2014, he said.

“These subsidies have the perverse effect of encouraging businesses and consumers to burn more fossil fuel and create more emissions.

“It makes no sense to be calling for emissions reductions on one hand, while subsidising emissions on the other.”

It has been endorsed by countries including France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Samoa, the United Kingdom and the US.

Fossil fuel subsidies are no different to tariffs, except that the low cost of the fuel affect the whole supply chain pretty early on.  By lobbying for its removal in our export markets, they will have the effect of increasing the cost of doing business, and thereby making it more competitive for our exports.

It’s a pretty good strategy – talk climate, get improved trading conditions.

No wonder the Greens don’t like it.


– NZN via 3 News

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