Phasing out fossil energy subsidies will better level the playing field for clean energy development, the researchers say.
But phasing out fossil fuel subsidies is easier said than done, of course. An extreme example is Saudi Arabia. Easily the laggard in the Middle East North Africa region, the Kingdom subsidizes gasoline, electricity and water — all desalinated — which is completely dependent on fossil fuels.
It now has the highest oil use per capita in the world. But with neighbors toppling governments, it would be unrealistic to try to persuade Saudi rulers to chop these safety valves.
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