Tuesday June 19th, 2012
On another side of the Rio Center this past Monday, the youth took a mayor step to make notice of the fossil fuel subsides. This action was in collaboration with many NGOs and had the main drive was a 24hour twitter storm with #endfossilfuelsubsides and bring the message to a global scale.
“What is a fossil fuel subsidy? A fossil fuel subsidy is any government action that lowers the cost of fossil fuel energy production, raises the price received by energy producers or lowers the price paid by energy consumers. There are a lot of activities under this simple definition—tax breaks and giveaways, but also loans at favorable rates, price controls, purchase requirements and a whole lot of other things.” http://priceofoil.org
At the Rio Centro there was a flash mob action on the topic. A goup of people mainly youth concentrated in the main area and at about 13:45 Rio time, they busted with a chanting “The Future I want, end fossil fuel subsides”. After a march around the main areas the group disintegrated. The were no intents of the UN security to stop the event and many people watched and took pictures.
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But this was not an isolated event, cause at the same time the twitter storm was bursting. Bu the end of the 24 hour period the #endfossilfuelsubsiddes hash tag came up to number two in the ranking of globally trending topics and number one in the US.
The attention to this topic came because as of Monday the negotiations in Rio+20 were still divided over a proposals to phase out the provision of public funds to CO2 polluters and the Rio text did not even mention gas, oil or coal subsides.
“Gro Harlem Brundtland, one of the architects of global sustainable governance, said she was hopeful that Rio+20 could produce a clear commitment to act on this problem.
She said: "It is outrageous that this is happening still. It was clear 20 years ago that it had to stop. But it continues still. It will mean changing the tax system. You can't take from poor. But the point is that most of these subsidies go to the rich not the poor. So if we can change the incentive system so poor people are given the same opportunities without polluting environment then we can change this wrong-footed way of inspiring development."
Sarah Best of Oxfam said: "Oxfam wants a strong commitment from Rio+20 to a fair phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies. This must include strong safeguards to protect the poorest, who need to have greater access to energy and are most
vulnerable to rising prices."” Quoted text from article of Jonathan Watts, guardian.co.uk
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