A recent study found that the world spends a whopping $1.8 trillion per year on subsidies that are harming the environment. These subsidies are driving the extinction of wildlife and raising the global temperature.

These subsidies range from tax breaks for harmful beef production in the Amazon to funding unsustainable groundwater pumping in the Middle East. We are financing our own planet’s extinction.

This government support on subsidies directly goes against the Paris Agreement and pays for water pollution, land sinking, and deforestation.

The authors of the study say a large portion of the $1.8 trillion could easily be repurposed for eco-friendly policies beneficial to nature. Repurposing this money could greatly help with the transition to net-zero emissions.

The report calls for governments to come to an agreement and eliminate environmentally harmful subsidies. Later this year in China at the biodiversity conference, it is hoped a “Paris agreement for nature” will be signed, and companies will reveal the subsidies they receive as part of environmental disclosure.

Executive director of Business for Nature, Eva Zabey, said many businesses might be unaware of the harm that comes from their subsidies. Still, they should use their influence to call for change.

“Many businesses are benefiting from these environmentally harmful subsidies. This cannot be a taboo topic. We need to speak using facts and understand where the financial flows are going,” she said, “Typically, the subsidies were established with good intentions in mind. We need to level the playing field because right now, some are benefiting from a head start when it should be the other way round. It’s a wicked problem.”

Transparency between governments and subsidy recipients is crucial to combating these harmful practices and working towards a net-zero economy. If the world can’t work together, there will be devastating consequences for our beautiful planet.

Sign this petition to abolish climate-changing subsidies

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