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IMF urges governments: Phase out energy subsidies

October 8, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund chief is urging governments to phase out energy subsidies as a key step to address climate change.

Christine Lagarde said Tuesday that such subsidies, particularly for fossil fuels, only encourage the use of more energy and disproportionately benefit wealthier individuals, who can afford to use more energy, instead of the poor.

Lagarde said $485 billion is spent today globally on energy subsidies and said it should all be gradually removed. She also encouraged governments to “get the pricing right” on energy, including carbon taxes and other taxes on energy use.

She was speaking at a panel discussion in Washington on ways the IMF and the World Bank are trying to tackle climate change from an economic perspective.

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