$1.8tn is spent annually on subsidies harmful to planet: The world spends $1.8 trillion (£1.3tn) every year on subsidies that cause environmental destruction and drive species to extinction.

This is reported from a study by the B Team and Business for Nature, which makes the quite remarkable decision that “public money is financing our own extinction”.

It explains environmentally harmful subsidies (EHS) being those that use up natural resources, tear down ecosystems and harm the health of the planet. The authors say they are commonplace throughout agriculture, forestry, transport, fossil fuel and water sectors as well as stress that reforming them is vital.

The study cites the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ranking of climate action failure as the number one threat against humanity as the primary reason for this and warn that divesting in damaging industries and practices is crucial in fighting climate change.

A much better awareness and greater transparency around the financial movement of subsidies is being called for by the research to properly reform spending.

It is further calling for more observation to be committed for government subsidies to guarantee they are not damaging the planet but additionally persist to benefit those in low economic households and those who call for the investment.

“We have never lived on a planet with such little biodiversity. At least $1.8 trillion (£1.3tn) is funding the destruction of nature & changing our climate, while creating huge risks for the very businesses who are receiving the subsidies.

“In the meantime, we still have not met the Paris Agreement climate finance target of $100 billion (£73.4bn) per year. Harmful subsidies must be redirected towards protecting the climate and nature, rather than financing our own extinction.” a member of the B Team, Christiana Figueres stated.

Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group and Co-founder of The B Team, said: “We must develop a deeper understanding of their devastating impacts & redirect our resources to the policies that help create a more sustainable future for all.”

$1.8tn is spent annually on subsidies harmful to planet

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