As the world converges in Rio de Janeiro for the biggest sustainability conference of the year, the Rio+20, twitter activity is booming. One of the most popular hashtags today was #endfossilfuelsubsidies, which aims to end subsidies for fossil fuel energy.
A sustainable future must hinge on alternative energy, such as solar and wind power, but most subsidies still go to dirty fossil fuels, which attract twelve times more subsidies than clean energy.
The Twitter storm, as the organizers have called it, was launched from a homonymous website. From there visitors can sign a petition asking G20 leaders to commit to clean energy. It says:
“As concerned global citizens, we urge you to honour your previous commitments to end taxpayer handouts to the fossil fuel industry. To save our planet we need a game-changer now — we call on you to first lead by example, and then make ending all polluter payments the top global priority for the Rio Earth Summit.”
According to an eye-opening study by the International Energy Agency, if we eliminated subsidies for coal, gas and oil we could save as much as Germany’s annual greenhouse gas emissions each year by 2015.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.