World spends $US1.8 trillion a year on subsidies that harm environment

Research prompts warnings humanity is ‘financing its own extinction’ through subsidies damaging to the climate and wildlife.

From tax breaks for beef production in the Amazon to financial support for unsustainable groundwater pumping in the Middle East, government spending and other subsidies are harming the environment.

The fossil fuel industry ($US 620 billion), the agricultural sector ($US520 billion), water ($US 320 billion) and forestry ($US 155billion) account for the majority of the $US 1.8 trillion. No estimate for mining, believed to cause billions of dollars of damage to ecosystems every year, could be derived.