The International Energy Agency's chief economist is calling on leaders of the Group of 20 Nations to fulfill their pledge to end fossil-fuel subsidies, a move he says will cut oil demand and greenhouse-gas emissions.
Stopping aid by 2020 would reduce global oil demand by 6.5 million barrels a day, he said, or about one-third of the current U.S. use.
Subsidies that promote consumption, such as below-market gasoline prices, totaled $557 billion in 2008, Birol said. Nations that use them the most include China, Venezuela, Egypt Iraq and Iran, according to IEA surveys.
Global leaders are searching for ways to reduce dependency on oil and tackle global warming as the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico focuses attention on the broader cost of fossil fuels.
G20 leaders, who failed to broker a deal on restricting carbon emissions at the Copenhagen climate summit, will discuss how to implement their pledge in Toronto this month, Birol said.
Originally published by BLOOMBERG NEWS.