From the Financial Times:
The world economy spends more than $550bn in energy subsidies a year, about 75 per cent more than previously thought, according to the first exhaustive study of the financial assistance devoted to oil, natural gas and coal consumption.
Matt Yglesias comments:
We normally talk about clean energy in terms of subsidizing it directly or else charging dirty energy sources so as to remove the unpriced negative externalities. But if you watch congress at all, you’ll notice that current policy actually subsidizes dirty energy in a baffling way. And we’re not alone. Dave Roberts flags a new analysis from the International Energy Agency that pegs global dirty energy subsidies at $550 billion a year.
And this does not even address indirect subsidies such as the externalizing of climate change and national security costs! Dirty energy is only “cheap” because massive costs are subsidized or hidden altogether, but we all pay higher taxes for access to oil and over-reliance on coal. Add in adaptation costs for climate change, and security costs to safeguard pipelines, oil tankers, and regional stability and you add at least another few hundred billion to the number.