The Republic of Korea maintains the second-largest coal subsidies in the world. (Source: english.yonhapnews.co.kr)

 Hanoi (VNA) – The Republic of Korea (RoK) maintains the second-largest coal subsidies in the world, as other countries move to cut state support for such energy programmes, the Yonhap News Agency cited a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The latest findings released in the 2017 World Energy Outlook by the Paris-based IEA showed Seoul spent 150 million USD subsidising the coal sector in 2016.

 Seoul has provided subsidies since 1989 so underprivileged people can purchase large coal briquettes more cheaply.

The IEA findings showed that while overall size of the RoK's coal subsidies declined last year compared with 2014 and 2015, the total stood second after Kazakhstan at 1.57 billion USD.

The report said that at present, only a few countries still provide fossil fuel subsidies, with most industrialised economies having halted such practice.

The RoK said it plans to end subsidies by 2020, as part of its broader plan to reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuel.

The IEA said that while fossil fuel support has been on the decline, state assistance for renewable energy has been rising sharply over the years, hitting 125 billion USD in 2015.-VNA