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How Covid-19 could help eliminate fossil fuel subsidies

As oil-exporting countries struggle to respond to the crisis, there is a way to make critical fiscal resources available

Photo: Yegor Aleyev/Tass/PA Images

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit oil-exporting countries at the worst possible moment. Severely strained health systems, and the need for economic stimulus, call for unprecedented growth in public spending. At the same time, oil export revenues have plummeted, following the demand collapse caused by the pandemic and a breakdown of traditional price-setting mechanisms. As a result, many oil exporters in the low- and middle-income category will struggle to muster anything near the level of expenditure required for an efficient response to the virus.

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