Do away with fuel subsidies: WB head

Countries should do away with subsidies for fossil fuels to help mitigate the impact of climate change, president of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim asserted on Saturday, but felt removing them would be "politically difficult".

He made the comments while discussing ways to tackle climate change issues at the World Economic Forum meeting here.

India and many other countries provide subsidies on fossil fuels like diesel and kerosene.

"We should be removing fossil fuel subsidies in every country in the world," the World Bank president said.

Citing the example of Tunisia, Jim said fossil fuel subsidies do not help in protecting the poor.

"The other issue is that we have fossil fuel subsidies. I was just in Tunisia and they are struggling to find a way to limit fossil fuel subsidies. (They said) that fossil fuel subsidies help richer people who drive cars.

"...(fossil fuel subsidies) are fundamentally not progressive. We want to protect the poor and the fossil fuel subsidies don't do that... But it is politically very difficult," Kim said.

Noting that there are many, different solutions to deal with climate change, the World Bank chief said they would help countries in finding a way forward.

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