Subsidies to fossil fuel producers are a "disgrace," according to Greta Thunberg, the famous young Swedish climate activist who spoke before a US congressional hearing.
Joe Biden's $2 trillion development package proposes reducing subsidies and tax incentives for oil, gas, and coal producers to reduce global warming emissions and compensate for future projects. According to the Biden administration, eliminating those incentives would pull in $35 billion to the US government over ten years.
Earth Day Address
On Earth Day, Thunberg spoke before a House advisory in the US congressional hearing, saying it was unbelievable that fossil fuels were subsidized considering the climate crisis.
"It is the year 2021. The fact we are still having this discussion and even more that we are still subsidizing fossil fuels using taxpayer money is a disgrace," said the 18-year-old. "It's clear proof that we have not understood the climate emergency at all."
Thunberg, who was the catalyst for the global climate school strike campaign, was invited to testify to the hearing as part of a Democratic drive to exclude fossil fuel subsidies from an infrastructure bill.
Ro Khanna, a California Democrat in the House of Representatives, said he was committed to eliminating the subsidies. He said, "They are out of date and must be terminated."
The fossil fuel sector actually receives various benefits, including tax breaks for exploration expenses and tax credits as the value of their reserves decreases over time. Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the sector received additional tax cuts last year - a financial aid that did not prevent many companies from laying off tens of thousands of workers.
Both direct and indirect assistance can be calculated in various ways. Still, the International Monetary Fund estimates that such incentives equal more than $5 trillion per year when the expense of voluntarily generated waste is factored in.
Reducing Emissions and Saving the Planet
According to Thunberg, there is a "massive difference" in what countries are doing to reduce emissions and what is needed to save the planet from warming by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is a central aim of the Paris climate accords. "The inconvenient truth is that if we are to uphold our promises under the Paris Agreement, we must end fossil fuel subsidies, stop new drilling, totally divest from fossil fuels, and keep the carbon in the ground," Thunberg added.
As the world's largest emitter, the US can do the "bare minimum," according to Thunberg, who added that policymakers will otherwise have to "explain to your children why you are surrendering on the 1.5C target, giving up without even trying."
"My generation, unlike yours, would not give up without a fight," she said. "How long do you truly think people in positions of authority, such as yourself, can get away with it?" How much longer can you think you can get away with ignoring the climate change without being held responsible? Young people today will determine how you will be remembered, so make wise decisions."
According to Ralph Norman, the committee's Republican ranking member, "the left has reverted to scare campaigns on climate change," which has caused undue concern among people, including children. Thunberg was questioned by Norman about whether she had recently urged young people to "panic" about the climate crisis.
Thunberg replied that she didn't want people to worry but that she did want them to "get out of their comfort zones" about a situation that scientists predict would drive areas of the world beyond human livability.
For more news update about Environmental Action, don't forget to follow Nature World News!
© 2021 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.