REFILE-Rich nations' fossil fuel subsidies exceed climate aid 40 to 1-researchers

(Fixes typo in paragraph 5))

TORONTO, Dec 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Wealthy nations spend 40 times as much money subsidizing fossil fuel production as they contribute to the Green Climate Fund to help poor countries adapt to global warming, a research group said in a study released on Thursday.

Eight industrialised nations - Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States - spend a combined $80 billion a year on public support for fossil fuel production, but have pledged only about $2 billion a year to the Green Climate Fund, Oil Change International said.

“Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies could be a massive double win,” Alex Doukas, the group’s senior campaigner, said in a statement on the research analysis.

“It would stop a huge waste of public money that’s driving the climate crisis, while at the same time freeing up money that can help poor countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and make the shift to renewable energy.”

The research was released during negotiations between 195 nations in Paris over a new climate deal, expected to lead to an agreement next week.

Developing nations have been calling for more support from wealthy countries so that they can produce clean energy, accelerate their economic growth and reduce poverty while keeping carbon emissions in check.