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
Today at COP26, more than 20 countries and institutions launched a joint statement committing to end direct international public finance for coal, oil and gas by the end of 2022 and prioritize clean energy finance. This initiative could directly shift more than USD 18 billion a year of support out of fossil fuels and into clean energy.
President Biden has continued to approve fossil fuel expansion in recent months, while pointing to Congress to excuse the United States’ lack of climate ambition and espousing false solutions like carbon capture and “net zero” plans that perpetuate fossil fuel destruction and environmental racism.
Today Big Oil will appear before Congress to answer for their decades long climate denial campaign. It is the first time that collectively the bosses of Exxon, BP America, Chevron, and Shell have all testified together under oath.
Our new report “Past Last Call: G20 public finance institutions are still bankrolling fossil fuels” looks at G20 country and MDB public finance for fossil fuels from 2018-2020 for the first time and finds they are still backing at least USD 63 billion per year in oil, gas, and coal projects.
LATEST PROGRAM RESEARCH
The time has come for ambitious E3F action, not just ambitious words. We do not want to see a year of vague compromises and exceptions that water the commitment down and lead to continued support for fossil fuels, such as gas - as this not only puts the climate at risks, it also locks countries in the south into fossil dependence with all the economic risks that come along.
A policy brief released today by OCI and ODI shows that despite their commitment to align financial flows with climate goals under the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015, the E3F countries still provided €20 billion in export finance for fossil fuel projects abroad between 2018 and 2020.
Today’s announcement comes after the Netherlands, Germany and Spain confirmed their participation in the initiative earlier this week and alongside confirmations from Belgium and Sri Lanka today. The French development bank — AFD — had already signed up to the statement, but not the French government as a whole.