STOP FUNDING FOSSILS
Our Stop Funding Fossils program uses critical analysis and strategic organizing to end the vast quantities of government support flowing to the fossil fuel industry and accelerate the clean energy transition.
Public finance and subsidies for fossil fuels play a key role in driving oil, gas, and coal production. Climate leadership means not wasting another cent of public money on the industries that are causing the problem.
OVERVIEW OF WORK
Our research shows that G20 governments spend $444 billion per year propping up oil, gas, and coal production, while the G20’s taxpayer-backed public finance institutions provide nearly 4 times more public finance to fossil fuels than to clean, renewable energy.
These massive subsidies play a key role in expanding oil and gas production and locking in existing fossil fuels: recent analysis finds that half of the new oil fields being drilled in the US would have remained undrilled if not for substantial subsidies; at the same time, public finance for fossil fuels de-risks capital-intensive megaprojects, like massive coal plants in Southeast Asia, few of which would proceed without government backing. And as oil, gas, and coal producers face increasing competition from renewable energy, instead of simply reducing fossil fuel production, they exert their political influence to get more handouts to keep extracting.
Instead of spending scarce public resources on the fossil fuel industry, our work challenges public institutions to scale up their support for distributed renewable energy solutions that can deliver energy access quickly and at least cost in many developing countries: today, support for these solutions makes up only a tiny fraction of all public finance for energy.
We know from the work of our Energy Transitions and Futures program that already-producing oilfields, gasfields, and coal mines hold enough carbon to take the world well beyond 1.5°C of warming and up to 2°C. This means that governments who’ve signed up to the Paris Agreement (that’s nearly everybody) shouldn’t spend another cent of public money on fossil fuels if they take their commitment seriously. We call on them to stop funding fossils.
LATEST PROGRAM POSTS
The world is on track to produce about 120 per cent more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, and 50 per cent more than would be consistent with limiting warming to 2 degrees.
Yesterday, the EIB announced it will end financing for fossil fuel energy projects from the end of 2021.
Yesterday, millions of Canadians headed to the polls and knocked the Liberals’ majority government down to minority status. This was a clear signal to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his party that voters expect more and better action from a Liberal government to confront the climate crisis.
As Extinction Rebellion shuts down parts of London and other major citities, with ironic timing, the UK has approved four new gas-fired turbines against the advice of its own inspectors.
LATEST PROGRAM RESEARCH
There is an urgent need to ensure that anti-climate riders stay out of appropriations packages for Fiscal Year 2020 as Congress and the Trump Administration continue to negotiate a spending package.
G20 governments continue to provide billions of dollars for the production and consumption of fossil fuels. This report finds that they provide at least USD $63.9 billion per year in government support to the production and consumption of coal alone, with almost three-quarters of the support identified being directed to coal-fired power production.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the world’s largest multilateral lender, bigger even than the World Bank. As a public bank, it’s tasked with providing finance in the EU public interest, and it has an outsized influence on the EU’s energy system because of the private investment it can “crowd in” and the sheer amount of money it has at its disposal.