Plumer takes aim at fossil-fuel subsidies:
A report from Harvard's Kennedy Center last year found that the world could cut global CO2 emissions by about 6 percent simply by scrapping price supports for fossil energy. (And yes, removing subsidies might, in the short term, have a regressive impact in the form of higher energy prices, but countries could easily take the money saved and use it to cushion the blow, via efficiency upgrades or even lump-sum payments.) Now, the worst offenders on this score are China, India, and Russia, but note that the United States does plenty of fossil-fuel subsidizing, too. We may not bankroll gasoline purchases the way Egypt or Venezuela do, but an analysis last year from the Environmental Law Institute found that the U.S. government offered $72 billion in incentives for oil, gas, and coal producers between 2002 and 2008.