Like many I was incredibly disappointed about the outcome of the Rio+20 summit. In fact I was pretty much downbeat and disappointed months before started as it was pretty clear that it was going to go through the same fate as the few years recently failed Cop summits. But then again I managed to get my hopes up a few weeks before the start. I had heard that a coalition of NGO’s with 350 leading on it and backed by giant online petition site Avaaz that they would create a 24 hour global twitter storm with the hashtag: endfossilfuelsubsidies with the aim by getting that trending at that day. That momentary raised my hopes thinking if we could get that trending maybe we could get Politicians take this seriously and actually start discussing it. There was a bigger response to it than I have ever even dreamed imagining and more or less trended all day with Bussiness Green Editor James Murray also picking up on this tweeting: ‘’Either Twitter is full of environmentalists or the subject goes deeper than that’’. Later I got more excited when the EU Climate Change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard also started to tweet about it, declaring her support for it and that this definitely needed to be on the agenda.
The rest is history, It didn’t even made the agenda. The one thing that could really have gotten this summit somewhere were silently being washed away and I could return to my disappointingly state of mind.
Of course this had not even been a subject in the UK government, Climate Change sceptic and anti green growth believer Chancellor George Osborne who in his large budget handed out large subsidies to Oil and Gas companies. His idea of growth is now intent of damaging the green economy by trying to enforce cut in subsidies for up to 25% which if that were to happen would go a long way in killing the UK wind industry. The renewable sector in the UK is actually the only one that currently sees a lot of growth.
The question is why do we have to cut subsidies in the renewable energy sector and not look at fossil fuel subsidies which are the ones that really should be cut. The fossil fuel industry consists of large and massively profitable companies and there is now way they should receive any kind of subsidies. Subsidies is a measure that should be given to new and developing technologies to help them grow, become financially stable and eventually stable. Based on that it’s a complete mystery that we still hand out large subsidies to those companies while at the same time taking about reducing subsidies for the renewable sector. If we are to successfully create a green economy and vain ourselves of fossil fuels this for sure it’s not the path to go down.