Fossil fuel subsidies

Governments across the G20 are estimated to be spending $88 billion every year subsidising exploration for fossil fuels. “The fossil fuel bailout: G20 subsidies for oil, gas and coal exploration” documents the scale and structure of fossil fuel exploration subsidies in the G20 countries. … a publicly financed bailout for carbon-intensive companies, and support for uneconomic investments that could drive the planet far beyond the internationally agreed target of limiting global temperature increases to no more than 2ºC.   The subsidies are creating a ‘triple-lose’ scenario:

  • Directing large volumes of finance into high-carbon assets that cannot be exploited without catastrophic climate effects
  • Diverting investment from economic low-carbon alternatives such as solar, wind and hydro-power
  • Undermining the prospects for an ambitious climate deal in 2015.

(Overseas Development Institute: UK Think Tank: November 2014)

  • Australia has received more than $4 billion in money from foreign governments to fund coal projects since 2007
  • Australian taxpayers have subsidised coal mines and power plants around the world to the tune of $1.4 billion through the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, a government bank that helps finance Australian projects in other countries.
  • Internationally, government-owned finance institutions poured more than $US73 billion into coal between 2007 and 2014, according to the research by the National Resources Defence Council, Oil Change International and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

(The Age: Lisa Cox: 2 June 2015)

Key Words: International

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