What could we do with fifty billion dollars? Oh, I know. We could use it to adapt to climate change. It might help Canada transition from fossil fuels to alternative clean energy. There is no end of good uses for that sort of money.
British Labour MP, Clive Lewis, is asking the same question. "Why are taxpayers subsidising the oil and gas companies that are jeopardizing our future?"
Does this sound familiar?
Last October, the world’s most renowned climate scientists warned governments that humanity has just 12 years to prevent climate catastrophe. The UK government faces three choices to deal with carbon-heavy fossil fuels: force people to stop using them immediately; facilitate a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy; or hope business-as-usual market forces solve our problem for us. Strip away the rhetoric, and the Tory government is still relying on the latter option.
... British taxpayers will now subsidise multi-billion-pound companies in accelerating the collapse of our natural world. Extinction Rebellion recognises this threat, and is protesting outside the Treasury today. It questions why we continue to subsidise the very companies that jeopardise our future. I stand in complete solidarity with it.Deja Vu, anyone?
These tax reliefs have not brought any tangible benefit in protecting and creating jobs. They simply subsidise big business and facilitate and encourage further North Sea exploitation. As John McDonnell outlined when speaking in Scotland recently, any government intervention must be to secure the creation of new, green, sustainable jobs. The public accounts committee asked the government whether its “support for oil and gas may become incompatible with its long-term climate change objectives”. “No” would be the honest answer.