The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has today released a video calling for international action against the US$425 billion annual spend on fossil fuel subsidies. 

“Many countries have made political commitments to reduce these harmful subsidies, but progress has been too slow,” warns Vangelis Vitalis, Deputy Secretary, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“We believe that a solution for addressing this lack of action is to drive enforceable change through the World Trade Organisation (WTO).”    

Last week New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, presented this proposal to the WTO at its Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A total of 11 other WTO members also gave their support. 

“The WTO is the one global institution that legally binds all of the major economies in the world. It's the only place where major economies can be held to account in an enforceable way,” says Mr Vitalis.    “While most of the world’s biggest contributors to fossil fuel subsidies did not give their endorsement, and we know getting these WTO members over the line will be a challenge, we believe this is a challenge worth pursuing,” says Mr Vitalis.

View the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s short film  entitled “425 billion reasons for change”, or read its long-form feature on the issue here. 

425 billion reasons for change — video (external link)

425 billion reasons for change — long-form feature

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Further information: Rhys Hurd, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, rhys.hurd@mfat.govt.nz.