Rising oil prices are overwhelming the benefits of debt cancellation and threatening to deepen the debt crisis. This is the message of a new policy briefing released today by Oil Change International and the Jubilee USA Network (to view the press release click here). The brief outlines the urgent need to challenge G-8 plans to increase support for the oil and fossil fuel industry and calls on governments around the world to focus international efforts on strategies that will simultaneously address energy poverty, crushing debt and global warming (to take action click here).
Adjusting for inflation, oil – which is hovering around $75 a barrel – is now more expensive than at any time since 1980. International Energy Agency officials estimate that the cost of oil for all of sub-Saharan Africa will rise by at least $10.5 billion per year, which is more than ten times the annual debt relief received by all 14 African countries included in the 2005 G-8 debt deal.
The policy brief recommends: ending direct and indirect subsidies to the oil industry and other fossil fuels, dramatically increasing support for energy efficiency and new renewables, canceling all unjust and unfair debts and adhering to responsible financing standards moving forward in order to avoid a new debt crisis.