The short answer is “too big”.
- Almost $5 trillion is spent in such subsidies. This is about 6.5% of global gross domestic product.
- Coal gets the most subsidies. This finding is new to me. It is also the most disturbing, as coal is one of the worst fossil fuels in terms of pollution and global warming.
- A substantial part of these subsidies are indirect, as in not properly charging for externalities.
- Eliminating these subsidies would have enormous benefits, including increased government revenue, less pollution, and millions of fewer deaths
- Global coordination is not necessary, as a country “going it alone” by eliminating subsidies will still reap benefits.
With the above benefits, it is obviously a great idea to end these subsidies now. Energy companies do not need these subsidies. Indeed, the same way those who are doing just fine don’t need an unpaid cheer squad, those who are doing just fine don’t need coddling from the government either.