The International Energy Agency found in 2010 that fuel subsidies are not an effective measure against poverty because only 8 percent of such subsidies reached the bottom 20 percent of income earners.
The IEA, which only looked at consumption subsidies, this year said they "remain most prevalent in the Middle East and North Africa, where momentum toward their reform appears to have been lost."
In the U.S., environmental groups say fossil fuel subsidies include tax breaks, the foreign tax credit and the credit for production of nonconventional fuels.
Industry groups, like the Independent Petroleum Association of America, are against removing such support, saying that would harm smaller companies, rather than the big oil giants.
In Doha, Mohammed Adow, a climate activist with Christian Aid, called all fuel subsidies "reckless and dangerous," but described removing subsidies on the production side as "low-hanging fruit" for governments if they are serious about dealing with climate change.
"It's going to oil and coal companies that don't need it in the first place," he said.
Associated Press writers Abdullah Rebhy in Doha, Qatar, and Brian Murphy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report
Karl Ritter can be reached at www.twitter.com/karl_ritter
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.