Worldwide spending on the environment remained stagnant during 2001–21


Environmental taxes remained constant at around 1.5 percent of global GDP from 2001 to 2021. These comprise taxes on energy, resources, and pollution that harm the environment. Environmental expenditures, which support pollution abatement, waste management, and, importantly, research and development into technology specifically intended to protect the environment, stayed at a low level of around 0.6 percent of global GDP over the same period.

Explicit fossil fuel subsidies, on the other hand, were about 0.3 percent of GDP. Many economists consider removing these to be the most effective and easiest path to decarbonization, especially as they are both regressive and inefficient. But eliminating or even reducing these subsides remains politically challenging.

Data Disclosure

The data underlying this analysis are available here [zip].

More From