Food for thought….

💶 EU subsidizes fossil fuels with slightly more than €50bn annually (and it has been roughly the same at least since 2015). [Publication Office of the European Union]. According to the International Monetary Fund the same figure is $7 trillion on a global level.

🌡️ Fossil fuel is the root cause of climate change, resulting in more weather extremes like heat, rain, and storms. [multiple sources including UN IPCC]

☠️ 62,000 people died in the EU in 2022 due to extreme heat (compared to 20,600 in traffic and 4 due to terror). [ WHO; European Commission; Europol]

📈 €5+bn is the average annual economic cost of river flooding in the EU but with a huge variety year on year. In 2021 the flooding in Germany and Belgium alone cost almost €50bn. [European Council; European Environmental Agency]

📈 €2bn is the average annual economic cost of forest fires in the EU. [European Council]

And then comes the second order impacts like the results of:


  • Water shortages on e.g. farming, wildlife, rives as transportation routes and cooling for nuclear powerplants to mention a few.

  • Biodiversity loss.

  • Spreading of diseases with incents that spread as the temperature rises.

  • Invasive alien species.


In the research for this article we have not found one credible overall figure for the cost of climate change and there are many variables and for sure the numbers above can be debated.

Nonetheless, I find the business case for the €50bn EU subsidization to fossil fuels pretty poor and I find it peculiar that we keep accepting that we spend tax money on the main course of a multi-billion-euro problem with such massive consequences for people and living creatures and systems.

I know we need the fossil fuel for the energy mix for some time ahead and I am not calling for slashing it all at once. But say a 10-year roadmap for ending the subsidizing of the fossil fuel sector would be meaningful in my head. And then combined with ramping up investments in various renewable energy sources even more⏩.

Just as renewable energy is the winning formula in the field of energy, getting your business on the right side of history by becoming a force for good is the winning formula for all businesses. Climate change and sustainability is probably the biggest business opportunity we have ever faced. Those who go ahead and develop solutions (all kinds of solutions – not just to producing energy) have unprecedented opportunities to sell them to a world where more people wake up every day realising we need to do things differently and start to look for someone who can supply a “climate-friendly” or “sustainable” version of whatever products and services they need🌱💰.

In short – the companies that make themselves part of the solution instead of the problem hold the keys to the world🌍.

Do you believe in this business case?