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Dutch firms get up to $49 B annually in fossil fuel subsidies

(Reuters) - Industrial companies in the Netherlands get $42-49 B in tax breaks and subsidies annually for using fossil fuels, the Dutch government said in a report aimed at spurring international debate on such subsidies.

The 'fossil subsidies' range from tax exemptions on fuels used in aviation and as input in industrial processes, to relatively low energy tax rates for industries that use large quantities of gas.

"We have mapped out how many billions of fossil subsidies are in our system. Now I'd like to know how that is in other countries. And whether we find that acceptable," outgoing climate minister Rob Jetten said in an interview with Dutch newspaper Trouw.

The overview comes amid ongoing protests by climate activists, who on Tuesday blocked a section of a major traffic artery in The Hague for the 11th straight day, demanding an immediate end to all fossil subsidies.

Jetten said this demand went too far, as many tax breaks are the result of international rules and agreements.

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